January 19, 2006
Interior systems contractors boast low accident rates
One group of contractors that doesn’t fear the Ministry of Labour’s move to clamp down on contractors breaking health and safety regulations is the Interior Systems Contractors Association of Ontario (ISCA).
“Why should we? Our members’ accidents rates are way down,” says executive director Hugh Laird.
In fact, ISCA’s lost-time injury rate in 2004 was 46.1 per cent lower than the average of the three previous years combined, points out Derek Petrie, ISCA’s health and safety officer. One reason for the dramatic drop is that 35 ISCA member companies have been involved in a five-year safety program set up by the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB). Called the Safety Group, its prime objective is to help contractors create internal health and safety programs specific to their work.
While the lost-time injury statistics for the second year of the program, 2005, aren’t tabulated yet, Petrie says he knows that ISCA participants will see yet another drop in the lost-time injury rate.
Hired by ISCA last May, Petrie is helping to make the difference. His job encompasses health and safety training for the association’s 8,000 union members. WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System), asbestos abatement, propane, fall protection and mould abatement training are included. He also assists member companies with the development of health and safety programs specific to their field of work.
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