The president of the Steelworkers' Union local at IOC is calling for occupational health and safety inspectors to be stationed in Labrador.

Ron Thomas said two inspectors used to live in western Labrador, but now inspectors fly in from Corner Brook or St. John's.


Construction is booming in Labrador City, which is one of the reasons a local union official says more occupational health and safety inspectors are needed in the area. (CBC)

Thomas said between the mining industry and construction at Muskrat Falls, occupational health and safety officers stationed in Labrador would have lots to do.    

"We got all these things in town, new infrastructure, new buildings and new businesses going up, and all these places need to be monitored by an occupational health and safety inspector."

Thomas said inspectors monitor everything from dust levels to washroom facilities, and those who fly in are very busy.

"Flying people in and out is a huge cost to the government," said Thomas. "It's not because there's not lack of work for these people here in this area."

"It definitely would save money in the long run, and it would be beneficial if it could save somebody's life down the road."

Labrador West MHA Nick McGrath, who is also the minister responsible for workplace safety, said the province has been trying to recruit inspectors, but he said the government has been facing the same issues as local businesses.

If we can get the positions filled quickly, that's good," said McGrath. "And retaining the employees once we get them there, that the thing."

"But the system right now, although some may feel it's not ideal, the system is working."