COCA: Confusion about construction safety responsibility in Ontario

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Multi-ethnic workers (20s, 30s) with hardhats, putting on safety harness.

The Council of Ontario Construction Associations (COCA) says it has concerns about who is now responsible for construction safety prevention in the province.

In its weekly newsletter, COCA observes that recent amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act transferred responsibility for accident and sickness prevention from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to “a newly formed body in the Ministry of Labour called the Prevention Office.”

“Then the Ministry of Labour’s Policy Branch, not the Prevention Office, conducted research and a consultation with stakeholders regarding the WSIB’s existing prevention programs SCIP, Safety Groups and Workwell,” COCA said. “Recently we learned that the WSIB is staffing up and undertaking an overhaul of these programs.”

The COCA newsletter asked: “What’s up? Who’s in charge of Prevention in Ontario? With both the WSIB and the Prevention Office and its health and safety associations involved, what are the chances employers will be confused?”

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