The likelihood of a workplace accident occurrence is significantly decreased if proper safety procedures are followed. This means that regular inspections should be a part of any workplace’s safety protocol. In Ontario, a slew of recent workplace fatalities have made headlines and highlighted the importance of regular safety inspections.
On November 16, a worker in Windsor, Ontario was crushed to death by a metal beam that weighed over half a tonne. It was later discovered that no provincial safety inspector had visited the victim’s place of employment since March of 2012. Friends of the deceased expressed belief that four years is too long between inspections for a heavy industry work site.
Another Windsor man died after falling through a skylight while on the job. It had been more than a year since his employer’s last inspection. A third man, also in Windsor, passed away in July after falling from a roof while on the job. In this case, however, an inspection had been completed just days previously, and work orders had been issued.
Not every workplace accident can be prevented, especially in heavy industry, which is a major employment sector in B.C. However, a combination of proper training, regular inspections, and common sense may work to minimize the risk of such accidents occurring. As an employee, you have a right to work in a safe environment, to expect proper training and to have safety measures in place. As an employer, you owe your employees no less than this. For both employees and employers who have concerns about a workplace accident or injury, it may be beneficial to speak with a lawyer who understands British Columbia labour law for information and advice.
Source: Windsor Star, “Alarm sounded over inspections following spate of workplace deaths“, Dan Taekema, Dec. 3, 2016