But blitz inspections alone won't make Alberta safer for workers
EDMONTON, May 4 /CNW/ - A recent series of workplace safety blitzes by
occupational health and safety inspectors has confirmed there are
serious safety problems in Alberta workplaces - but this approach is
doing little to help.
"These inspection blitzes have provided undeniable proof of the dangers
faced by workers," says Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta
Federation of Labour (AFL), which represents 140,000 workers.
"However, these one-off inspection blitzes do not solve the problems of
workplace safety - they simply show that the problems exist," says
"To make our workplaces safer - to save lives and prevent injuries -
blitzes must be backed up with more concrete action, including ongoing
random inspections, hiring even more inspectors than the minister has
announced, giving them increased powers to issue on-site tickets for
violations, increased mandatory training for such things as forklift
operations and mandatory joint worker-employer safety committees."
Yesterday, the minister revealed that a forklift inspections blitz in
February and March resulted in 214 orders being issued by inspectors
against employers for violations. Of the 87 employers visited, 65 were
found to have failed to maintain or inspect their forklifts or did not
properly train workers.
Today, he announced the results of a similar blitz focused on young
workers. In February, there was a blitz on commercial construction
"The minister is trying to convince Albertans that he's being serious
about safety, but one-off blitzes simply scratch the surface. They
don't save lives," says McGowan.
"The minister agrees with us that saving lives and preventing injures
will also save money for employers. Why won't he agree to take real
action? Time and time again we have offered simple and obvious
solutions to the problem," says McGowan.
"It's hard not to come to the conclusion that and Immigration Minister
Thomas Lukaszuk is simply playing politics and trying to create the
impression that he is doing something. In reality, all these blitzes do
is tell us how serious the safety problems are."
SOURCE Alberta Federation of Labour
For further information:
call AFL President Gil McGowan @ (780) 218-9888