Toronto

Series of workplace accidents called 'intolerable'

The recent spate of workplace fatalities in the province is "intolerable," says the man responsible for occupational health and safety issues.

Chief prevention officer stresses importance of fall arrest equipment, heights training

Emergency responders attend the scene of a collapsed scaffold last month in the Bloor and Keele area. (Toronto Fire/Twitter)

The recent spate of workplace fatalities in the province is "intolerable" and must stop, the man responsible for occupational health and safety issues says.

In the past three weeks, the number of falls from heights at construction sites has been "absolutely unacceptable," George Gritziotis. Ontario's chief prevention officer said in a statement Friday.

"These workplace incidents are needless, intolerable tragedies that must stop," he said. "We are continually seeing people lose their lives as a result of falls in construction."

  • A construction worker fell to his death on April 23 from the third floor of an office tower being built on Adelaide Street West in Toronto.
  • A worker was killed on April 21 in northeast Brampton when a crane flipped and landed on him at a construction site for a recreation centre.
  • On March 27, two bricklayers died after falling seven storeys from scaffolding that had collapsed at a condo development on Bloor Street near High Park in Toronto.
  • Yesterday, a worker was taken to hospital after falling through the roof of an industrial building in Pickering.

Gritziotis said he's calling on all supervisors, employers, unions, and regulators to substantially increase their
efforts for health and safety at construction sites.

He said it's the law that individuals who work at heights wear appropriate fall arrest equipment and take working at heights training.

As of April 1, employers must ensure that certain workers complete working at heights training that has been approved by the chief prevention officer.

On the national day of mourning for those killed in the workplace last Tuesday, Gritiziotis said the number of fatalities on the job in Ontario over the past 10 years has not declined in an appreciable way.​

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