Residential construction front and centre for safety inspections this summer
Published Tuesday, July 19, 2016 6:35PM MDT
The provincial government announced Tuesday that officials would be putting an additional focus on safety at residential construction worksites in Alberta this summer.
Christina Gray, Minister of Labour, announced Occupational Health and Safety inspectors would increase inspections on worksites on weekends and other times outside of regular working hours, to make sure safety standards are being met.
Officials said between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016, OHS officers issued 1,605 orders on residential construction worksites – and more than half of those stemmed from fall protection issues.
Steve Holmes is a roofer, and said when he started in the industry safety measures to prevent falls were not commonly used.
“When I started years ago, we didn’t have lines, no harnesses, nothing,” Holmes said, saying these days, he wouldn’t work without one.
“If you’re not tied off and you fall, that’s it, there’s nothing stopping you.”
Holmes would also risk losing his job, or a government fine ranging from $100 to $500.
Gray said while the number of orders over fall protection was high, the number of falls has dropped from 20 in 2014, to 6 in 2015.
“Which we see as a positive sign, that we hope this program has contributed to and so that’s making sure that we’re continuing to raise that awareness,” Gray said.
The safety blitz will continue until the end of September, OHS officers have authority to write orders, which include stop work orders and stop use orders – and tickets can be issued on the spot.
With files from Susan Amerongen