(Ottawa, ON) “The Ontario Building Trades are joining Canadians from across the country to observe the National Day of Mourning to remember those who have died, been injured, or become ill in workplace incidents,” said Marc Arsenault, Business Manager of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario. “Today, we honour the memory of construction workers and of all workers who have lost their lives to preventable workplace incidents and diseases,” said James Hogarth, President of the Council.
In Ontario’s construction sector, reported Lost-Time Injuries (LTIs) have gone up from 4,280 in 2020 to 4,557 in 2021, while occupational disease claims have gone up from 160 in 2020 to 649 in 2021, according to the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA). Meanwhile, there have been 26 construction worker deaths in each of those two years. “These numbers are trending in the wrong direction and it is extremely distressing to see construction workers getting killed on the job, year after year,” said Hogarth. “Beyond the reported numbers, there are many construction workplace incidents that are actively suppressed as a result of underground economic practices that harm workers,” he said.
“The National Day of Mourning reminds us all that the health and safety of workers must be everyone’s priority,” stressed Arsenault, adding that “strong training lies at the heart of workplace injury and disease prevention.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified general awareness about health and safety in the workplace. Ontario’s construction industry, which has largely remained open throughout the pandemic, has made notable strides towards ensuring safer working conditions aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 but a lot more work needs to be done by paying attention to risks beyond the virus,” said Arsenault. “Organized labour, employers, and government need to work jointly to secure better protection for workers,” he concluded.
For more information, please contact
Business Manager Marc Arsenault:
Tel: (647) 402-0390