The death of a young construction worker in Halifax has led to positive change and greater attention to safety on the job, according to the head of the Nova Scotia Construction Safety Association.
Alan Fraser, 21, died November 7, 2013, after falling from the roof of a six-storey building under construction in Clayton Park.
Bruce Collins, general manager of the Nova Scotia Construction Safety Association, said Fraser's death inspired a push for regulatory change and more education, especially for young workers.
"There was a new energy to the conversation and a determination to do something specific to prevent this from happening again in the future," he said.
Under new regulations, fall protection training is now mandatory for anyone working above three storeys.
Collins said that's meant a more than doubling of the number of people taking a fall protection course offered by his association.
He said this past year, 3,000 people have taken the course — more than half were taking it for the first time.
At the same time, the Department of Labour has hired five more inspectors and a special prosecutor to look at violations in cases where there has been a death or serious injury on the job.
Collins also credits an advertising campaign, created by the province and Workers Compensation Board, with making people more aware of the need to consider safety at work.
There have been no fatalities on construction sites this year.
In 2013, Alan Fraser was one of three people who died in falls on construction sites.
The Department of Labour is still investigating Fraser's death. It has two years to decide whether to lay charges.
Fraser's employer, Parkland Construction, said it is cooperating fully with the investigation.
It also said it "places significant emphasis on the health and safety of its employees."