Unsafe working conditions persist at job sites across Saskatchewan: OHS report

New numbers from the province's Occupational Health and Safety division show unsafe working conditions persist at job sites across Saskatchewan.

About half of all sites inspected not compliant with use of protective headgear and fall protection

A recent report from OHS shows there are unsafe working conditions at job sites across Saskatchewan. The numbers come after a 21-year-old man died following an industrial accident at the Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan construction site. (Don Somers/CBC)

New numbers from the province's Occupational Health and Safety division show unsafe working conditions persist at job sites across Saskatchewan. 

A report from the OHS released on Wednesday found around half of all sites inspected were out of compliance when it came to use of protective headgear and fall protection.

  • 48% compliance with wearing protective headgear on sites.
  • 50% of workers trained in fall protection plan.
  • 41% use fall protection.

The numbers come less than a month since a 21-year-old construction worker died onsite at the new Children's Hospital in Saskatoon. 

Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association president Collin Pullar said despite low compliance in some areas, there had been some improvements in construction safety in recent years. 

However, he said home-building and renovation safety was an area of particular concern. 

"Companies tend to be smaller and oftentimes don't necessarily take the time to think of the investment in safety as being something that actually can provide them a very good return," said Pullar. 

He said part of the problem was people cutting corners to save time. 

"A lot of times we think 'well I can get away with this' and sure enough an accident occurs that could have easily been preventable," he said. 

WorkSafe Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association reminded home-builders and renovators to cover unguarded openings on worksites and to wear proper equipment. 

"Safety needs to be at the top of our minds at all times," said Occupational Health and Safety Division executive director Ray Anthony. 

"Employers and supervisors have the highest degree of responsibility for safety on the workplace."

OHS said it would be out inspecting residential construction sites throughout the summer and fall. 

About the Author

Alicia Bridges

Alicia Bridges is a digital and broadcast journalist at CBC Saskatoon. Email her at alicia.bridges@cbc.ca.

with files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning