TORONTO, Dec. 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In the past week, four workers have been killed at their job on an Ontario construction site, and just yesterday, a fifth worker died at an industrial workplace in Stoney Creek. The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) is devastated by these fatal incidents. While we mourn the lives that were lost, and hope the workers who were injured recover quickly, we demand immediate action to stop workers’ deaths on construction sites, and in every workplace across Ontario.

“The Ford government must immediately take action to improve protections for workers on construction sites. Workers must be guaranteed their safety and well-being is the primary concern and focus,” said OFL President Patty Coates. “This recent string of tragedies makes it clear that we must do more to protect Ontario workers. We demand urgent action by this government.”

After the Metron Construction Christmas Eve tragedy in 2009, the OFL launched a campaign for more robust and enhanced protections for workers. In that devastating swing stage collapse, five workers plunged 13 stories, four of those workers died. The OFL called for a more vigorous use of the Criminal Code of Canada’s ‘Westray amendments’ to ensure greater accountability for worker protection. Once again, we need action and more robust measures to protect workers.

In response to the Metron tragedy, the provincial government created an Expert Panel on Workplace Health and Safety and launched a province-wide review that resulted in significant amendments to Ontario laws designed to prevent future tragedies.

“Similar urgent action is once again required,” said Coates. “We must redouble efforts to ensure that every worker is protected through robust health and safety measures and beefed-up protocols and procedures.” The OFL is calling on the Province to strike another Expert Panel, and immediately launch a targeted health and safety enforcement blitz.

This December of death in Ontario workplaces is clearly unacceptable. The province must take urgent and immediate action to improve construction site safety. One death is one too many. The OFL, our affiliated members and community allies vow to keep pressuring the Ford government into action to protect Ontario’s workers.

The Ontario Federation of Labour represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information, please contact:

Melissa Palermo
Director of Communications
Ontario Federation of Labour
mpalermo@ofl.ca l 416-894-3456

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