Alberta Worksites Prepare For Safety Blitz

Alberta’s construction companies have been warned to prepare themselves for surprise safety inspections this summer. These safety inspections are part of the province’s plan to improve Alberta’s worksite culture and QHSE, by making sure employers and workers avoid taking shortcuts when it comes to health and safety. Occupation Health and Safety officers will be out in force, and the inspections are to continue until the end of September, also taking place on weekends and outside working hours.
These safety inspection “blitzes” started back in 2011, with Occupation Health and Safety officers beginning to target Alberta’s residential construction sites. Over the past year, the province’s OHS officers have performed 1,546 inspections and issued 1,605 orders, with nearly half of these being orders to stop work or use. These officers have the authority to stop and shut down work-sites, ticket workers, and fine employers for non-compliance issues. With the maximum fine at $500 for each safety violation, construction companies need to take workplace safety responsibilities seriously, resist taking shortcuts, and be vigilant in attaining 100% compliance with safety regulations.
A glaring issue in Alberta’s worksites is a lack of proper fall protection, which has remained a constant problem over the last few years, making up 52 percent of last years infractions, and 140 out of the 143 tickets issued. 26 of the 40 notifiable incidents were fall related incidents, most resulting in a serious injury.
This growing focus on safety inspections speak to Alberta’s commitment to improving health and safety at work-sites across the province. The inspections are a step in the right direction, reinforcing the idea that worksites must strive to make safety their top priority, but more still needs to be done to make sure that these work-site safety improvements aren’t just temporary. With QHSE software solutions and incident management software such as iTrak, worksites can automate QHSE/EHS processes and create a continuously improving generative safety culture.
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