WATCH: Workplace safety remains a concern in Ontario, as the most recent number shows a five-year high in injuries. Sean Mallen reports.
TORONTO – More workers were killed at work in 2013 than in any of the previous five years, according to a Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) report.
The Ontario Federation of Labour (OLF) is sounding the alarm on the state of the province’s workplace safety as it holds its annual Christmas protest outside the Ministry of Labour Monday morning.
The 2013 WSIB Statistical Report shows a 36 percent increase in on-the-job fatalities over the past five years. In 2008, 64 workers lost their lives in traumatic incidents at work, but that number jumped to 82 in 2013.
“The WSIB is failing in its core mandate to protect the lives of workers while on the job. It is time for the Wynne government to step in and clean house,” said OFL President Sid Ryan in a media release.
The minister’s office however said in an email Monday that Ontario is the safest place to work in Canada, pointing out that injuries have dropped from 78,000 in 2008 to 54,000 in 2013.
CUPE Ontario is calling for a stop to changes at the WSIB that are reducing benefits for workers injured on the job and increasing the number of claims being denied.
The OLF is demanding immediate action and hopes to schedule a meeting with the Ministry of Labour by the end of the year.