Hubich to Government: Adopt Two-pronged Approach to Save Workers' Lives

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

September 9, 2016

 

HUBICH TO GOVERNMENT: ADOPT TWO-PRONGED APPROACH TO SAVE WORKERS’ LIVES

                                                                                                                                                                         

After a deadly summer for Saskatchewan workers, the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) is calling on the provincial government to adopt a two-pronged approach to workplace inspections to save workers’ lives.

 

“We must start with the premise that all deaths on the job are preventable. Killing workers is not inevitable,” said SFL president Larry Hubich, “when workers die it is because workplaces are unsafe; it is because employers and governments failed at their responsibility to keep workers safe,” he added.

 

It is a fundamental principle that when employers try to cheat the system and put workers in danger just to save a few dollars, that government is there to correct their actions through fines and other punishments and through the deterrent of a random workplace inspection. The provincial government has cut the number of inspectors, it has drastically reduced the number of random inspections, and it has put inadequate resources towards prevention education and training – and it has cost workers their lives

 

“The short-term solution is this: I am calling on the Saskatchewan Government to immediately commit to quadrupling the number of random workplace inspections and hiring as many new inspectors as necessary to implement that commitment,” said Hubich, “the government must also maintain the number of targeted inspections it conducts,” he added.

 

This two-pronged approach to inspections will make workers safer.

 

After this immediate commitment, the government must further review the number of inspections and conduct more if required, and stiffen the existing regime of punitive measures that can be applied to employers who are in contravention of safety laws and regulations.

 

“These reasonable public policy actions will save lives, and can be done in conjunction with increasing resources available to prevention education and training,” said Hubich.

 

- 30 -

 

For additional information, contact:

 

Kent Peterson

Strategic Advisor

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour

o: 1 (306) 525-0197

m: 1 (306) 570-1855

e: k.peterson@sfl.sk.ca

Saskatchewan's Labour Movement: the folks who brought you the constitutional right to strike!