Helmets to Hardhats pays tribute to Canadian workers injured or killed on the job

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Special to Ontario Construction Report

Today, on the National Day of Mourning, we remember and pay tribute to the Canadian workers who have been injured or killed on their job site. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to all those who have lost a loved one and are living with the heartache of these preventable tragedies.

A single injury or death on a Canadian construction site is one too many. To help prevent tragedies in the workforce Helmets to Hardhats only works with the unionized construction industry. Canadian Veterans and the military community have already put their lives on the line protecting our rights and freedoms. It is now our responsibility to protect them by ensuring they are being referred to Canada’s safest employers and job sites.

Helmets to Hardhats emphasizes the importance of safety to our clients which is why we offered free Safety Training Courses for Ontario based military members, funded through the Province of Ontario’s Skills Development Fund. Helmets to Hardhats was able to run 12 different courses throughout Ontario, training a total of 87 military community members, including 8 Afghan interpreters. All participants were supplied with boots, helmets and vests to ensure they were prepared to start their careers safely.

According to a 2021 study conducted by the Ontario Construction Secretariat, unionized construction companies were associated with a 31 per cent lower chance of injury compared non-unionized companies. Research shows that those working in the unionized construction industry are also less likely to file injury claims. The unionized construction workforce experiences a greater sense of overall health and wellness and averages 29 per cent lower lost-time claims compared to their counterparts.

Researchers and stakeholders conclude that the unionized construction industry suffers less workplace injury because unions offer, “better occupational health and safety (OHS) training leading to safer working conditions and more knowledgeable workers. With training and union backing, unionized workers are more empowered to report on unsafe conditions, refuse unsafe work and ensure enforcement when needed.”

On this Day of Mourning, Helmets to Hardhats encourages Canadian employers, employees, unions, and industry stakeholders to continue to raise awareness about preventable work-related mishaps and promote union advantages. Helmets to Hardhats will continue to keep our clients safe and promote Canada’s unionized construction industry as a healthy and safe workplace with the safety, reliability, team work and the overall value added by a Veteran.

References

UPDATING A STUDY OF THE UNION EFFECT ON SAFETY IN THE ICI CONSTRUCTION SECTOR

Amick III BC, Hogg-Johnson S, Latour-Villamil D, Saunders R. Protecting construction worker health and safety in Ontario, Canada: identifying a union safety effect. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2015; 57(12):1337- 1342.

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