Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

May 20, 2010 14:54 ET

OFL: Young Worker Dies on the Job-Another Criminal Investigation Needed

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 20, 2010) - A twenty-six year old construction worker was killed yesterday in Whitby when a concrete retaining wall collapsed on him. The young worker is the latest of more than 400 work-related fatalities that have occurred since 2004.

"Yesterday's death comes in the wake of the Ministry of Labour's inspection blitz of construction companies which clearly showed employers are not taking seriously their responsibilities to ensure workplace safety," said Sid Ryan, President of the Ontario Federation of Labour. "Too many employers are playing Russian roulette with the lives of workers."

"This cavalier attitude has meant that three workers die on the job every two weeks in this province," said Ryan. "This carnage has to stop."

Ryan has written to the Central West Division Inspector of the Durham Regional Police calling on her to ensure that the current investigation into yesterday's death includes the possibility of charges under the Canada Criminal Code. In 2004, Bill C-45 amended the Code to provide for the criminal prosecution of employers who disregard their obligations to maintain healthy and safe workplaces.

"If there is employer negligence, we want the Canada Criminal Code and the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act to be applied to the fullest extent possible—including jail terms," said Ryan. "In the meantime, on behalf of over one million workers in Ontario, I want to express my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the young worker killed on the job."

On April 28, 2010—the National Day of Mourning commemorating workers whose lives have been lost or injured in the workplace—the Ontario Federation of Labour launched its workplace health and safety campaign: Kill a Worker—Go to Jail.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Federation of Labour
    Sid Ryan
    416.209.0066 (mobile)