Construction work by its very nature is hazardous. It’s physical; the work environment changes constantly; workers are often exposed to sever weather conditions; and the workforce on construction changes regularly as projects advance. This is why health and safety must be paramount on every construction site in Ontario. Preventing work-related illness and injury is the most important job at all construction sites because all workers deserve the right to return home to their families safe and sound each and every day.
The safety of all Ontario workplaces is regulated by the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations which are administered by the Ontario Ministry of Labour.
Under the leadership of the Ministry of Labour, significant reform of the occupational health and safety system. An overarching strategy is being developed to guide all elements of the system towards common goals.
COCA is working closely with the Ministry of Labour to ensure the changes made contribute to safer construction worksites.
COCA’s member associations and their member firms are committed to their occupational health & safety responsibilities. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually on occupational health and safety and fund 22% of Ontario’s Workplace Safety & Insurance Board through their insurance premiums.
However, Construction is an unforgiving business and even the simplest mistakes can lead to tragic consequences.
That’s why safety must be a responsibility that is shared by workers and employers. A culture of safety must be created on every construction worksite in the Province.
COCA’s Advocacy Role
- COCA has been actively engaged with the Prevention Office in the Ministry of Labour on such initiatives as Occupational Health and Safety Awareness Training, Working at Heights Training, Mandatory Entry Level Training for Construction, Joint Health and safety Committee Certification Training, the Construction Health and Safety Action Plan and the Occupational Health and Safety Programs Review
- COCA has successfully advocated for the continuance of the WSIB’s Safety Groups Program
- At the request of Chief Prevention Officer George Gritziotis, COCA recruited a group of industry leading contractors to provide ongoing advice on the development of Ontario’s first integrated Health & Safety strategy which was released in December 2013
- In late 2013, Dawn Tattle of Anchor Shoring was appointed to the Ministry of Labour’s Prevention Council; COCA had long advocated for a construction employer to be included on the Council and recommended Ms. Tattle for the position when a vacancy was announced
- COCA secured one of only three employer positions on the Expert Panel assisting Mr. Tony Dean in a comprehensive review of Ontario’s occupational health and safety prevention and enforcement system with the appointment of COCA 1st Vice-Chair Domenic Mattina
- COCA was a key proponent of Safety Groups to assist smaller companies
- In the mid 90’s, COCA helped lead a coalition of associations to lobby for more “normal” workplace legislation regarding labour laws, training and scrapping of the wasteful Workplace Safety Agency