Saskatchewan workers face workplace safety tickets on site

Watch the video above: Workers now face on-the-spot safety violation fines

SASKATOON – The provincial government has launched a new ticketing tool to crack down on workplace safety violations in Saskatchewan.

Previously, business owners spent countless hours tied up in court over violations.

Now, employees who violate Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) standards can be slapped with fines.

“A summary offence ticket is an on-the-spot penalty for an individual or entity who contravenes a particular provision of legislation,” said Joel Bender, an OHS legal affairs director.

“The previous system involved fines being issued by the courts as a result of a prosecution.”

Two OHS officers have been designated to issue the tickets.

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“The fines range from $250 to $1,000, plus applicable victim surcharge amounts,” said Bender.

There are a dozen offences that relate to a variety of safety provisions.

“For example, safety in trenching, safety in fall protection, safety in guarding machinery,” said Bender.

The owner of Wintringham Roofing, Greg Wintringham, said giving employees all the proper safety equipment and training only goes so far.

“We can’t be everywhere at the same time. If we show up to the job site and they’re in full compliance, once we drive away, if they take their hardhat off, it’s very difficult to enforce that,” said Wintringham.

“With this new fine system through OHS, more of the onus on being safe is going to be placed upon the actual workers.”

Employers and employees have had six months to become familiar with the new offences and penalties.

“We feel good that this is going to help our employees and our trades come home safely at the end of each day,” said Wintringham.

The new ticketing system will be fully implemented as of July 1.

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