The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) is marking today’s National Day of Mourning with a call for government, labour and management to continue working together to identify hazards and make improvements to health and safety in construction.
“The commitment to health and safety in Ontario’s construction industry has never been higher and government, labour and management have never been more engaged,” says RESCON VP Andrew Pariser, chair of the organization’s health and safety committee. “We need to continue to build on this momentum to address and eliminate hazards before they cause an injury or worse.
“Those who work in Ontario’s construction industry understand that it is no longer acceptable to look the other way and ignore health and safety issues before they arise. This applies to both physical and mental health issues and includes racism and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) matters. Everyone in Ontario has the right to a workplace that is safe and free from harassment and violence, including racism.”
The National Day of Mourning is held every April 28 to commemorate those who have lost their lives or suffered an injury or occupational illness due to work. It was made official in 1991 with passage of the Workers Mourning Day Act by the Parliament of Canada.
RESCON president Richard Lyall says that health and safety of workers has always been a priority at RESCON and while improvements have been made in the industry there is still work that needs to be done.
“During the pandemic, government, employers and unions worked in unison to ensure Ontario’s construction industry was able to continue working and build much-needed housing and infrastructure,” says Lyall. “As we reflect on those who have died or suffered an injury or illness due to work, it is critical that we keep that momentum going and continue to work together on ways to better identify and eliminate safety hazards in the future.”
Resources on safety and DEI are available from the IHSA, MLTSD, and the Anti-Racism Roundtable.
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