Ministry of Labour to tackle health and safety in the construction industry – establishes Construction Health and Safety Advisory Group

In a News Release issued May 21, 2015 the Ontario Ministry of Labour announced the establishment of a Construction Health and Safety Advisory Group.  The advisory group will work with government officials to develop a Construction Health and Safety Action Plan to reduce injuries, illnesses, and fatalities in the construction sector.  According to the Ministry, the construction sector accounts for 26% of workplace injuries, while representing only 7% of employment in the province.   
The advisory group is composed of an equal number of labour and employer representatives. Non-union contractors and their workers, who make up the majority of the construction industry in Ontario, are significantly under represented.

The labour representatives include:

  • Joe Dowdall, International Union of Operating Engineers;
  • James Hogarth, Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario;
  • Cosmo Mannella, LiUNA Ontario Provincial District Council; and
  • Mike Yorke, Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario.

The employer representatives are:

  • Mike Wieninger, PCL Constructors Inc.;
  • Steve Riddell, Ellis Don Corporation;
  • Tom McLaughlin, Thomasfield Homes Ltd.; and
  • Dave McLean, Mattamy Homes. 

The Ministry has tasked this group with identifying the best ways to:

  • increase the commitment to health and safety in construction workplaces;
  • enhance training for workers in the construction sector;
  • work with other enforcement authorities and municipalities to improve safety;
  • build an awareness about construction health and safety among young people;
  • encourage effective supervision of construction workers;
  • ensure legislation and regulations are better understood by the construction sector; and
  • ensure effective consumer outreach strategies.

The Ministry states that the work of the advisory group will build on other health and safety initiatives in the construction industry, such as the new training standards for entry level employees in the construction industry, and the new training requirements for employees that work at heights.

For further information please contact Paul Lalonde at 613-940-2759.