TIMMINS, ON, April 4, 2014 /CNW/ - The province's labour inspectors are
calling on the Ministry of Labour to begin taking action on a
five-year-old report that would see inspectors given proper updated
training in order to keep Ontario workers safe on the job.
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union is responding to the first
ever public consultations with the Ministry of Labour's (MOL) new
initiative for mining health and safety which took place in Timmins on
Monday, March 31. At that meeting, industry insiders placed blame on
Health and Safety Inspectors who lack experience and knowledge to do a
proper safety inspection on a mining property.
Neil Martin, provincial representative for OPSEU's 338 Industrial Health
and Safety Inspectors, 20 of whom work in mine inspections, said that
for years the union and the inspectors have continuously requested
increased training and front-line experience with industry experts.
"Despite repeated studies that have identified the need for ongoing and
current training for Occupational Health and Safety Inspectors in all
sectors, the Ministry of Labour has failed to implement any training
that will keep our Inspector members current," Martin said.
In 2009, the Ministry of Labour produced a document outlining the
ongoing training needs for Occupational Health and Safety Inspectors in
the mining and other sectors. The Ministry has not implemented this
training despite repeated requests from OPSEU.
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said that it is time to stop
laying blame on inspectors when accidents happen and instead start
questioning why the Ministry isn't providing the training they
themselves know is needed.
"Every worker has the right to go to work and come home safely to their
families," Thomas said. "The Ministry of Labour must act immediately on
training needs for inspectors before more unnecessary tragedies occur.
Anything less than that is negligence on the Ministry's part, and our
inspectors should not have to shoulder the blame for it."
For further information:
Neil Martin, 647-627-4560