Safety saves lives

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - OPINION -

Ev­ery year on April 28 we re­mem­ber and pay our re­spects to the thou­sands of work­ers who have been killed, in­jured or suf­fered an ill­ness as a re­sult of work-re­lated in­ci­dents.

Sta­tis­tics from the As­so­ci­a­tion of Work­ers’ Com­pen­sa­tion Boards of Canada tell us that in 2015, 852 work­place deaths were recorded in Canada. Among those who per­ished were four young work­ers aged 15 to 19, and 11 work­ers aged 20 to 24.

Th­ese num­bers are heart­break­ing and completely avoid­able. Ev­ery worker should re­ceive the proper train­ing re­quired to per­form their work safely, al­low­ing them to make it home safe and sound each and ev­ery night.

I re­cently heard of a young per­son who was in­jured as a re­sult of a lack of train­ing and su­per­vi­sion — a story all-too-fa­mil­iar.

At the time of his ac­ci­dent, this young man did not have work­ing at heights train­ing nor was he reg­is­tered as an ap­pren­tice. He was work­ing alone in the evening when he re­moved his har­ness to crawl through a false ceil­ing, caus­ing him to fall nearly 40 feet. His jaw, fore­head and eye socket were crushed and it’s pos­si­ble that he will lose sight in his left eye.

This is why it’s the law in On­tario that ap­pren­tices hold a Reg­is­tered Train­ing Agree­ment (RTA) and are mem­bers of the On­tario Col­lege of Trades — it en­sures they are equipped with the right tools to have safe and re­ward­ing ca­reers in the skilled trades.

On be­half of the On­tario Col­lege of Trades, I would like to thank trades­peo­ple for their com­mit­ment and ser­vice to all On­tar­i­ans and take the time to re­mem­ber the thou­sands of work­ers, and their fam­i­lies, who have been im­pacted by work-re­lated in­ci­dents. David Tsub­ouchi Regis­trar and CEO of the On­tario Col­lege of Trades

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