'Additional inspectors will help reduce the number of hazards in workplaces and, hopefully, decrease the number of Manitobans getting injured at work.'
Winnipeg (15 April 2010) - The Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE) says a decision by the Manitoba government to hire five new health and safety officers to help prevent workplace injuries is welcome.
The additions will raise to 74 the number of health and safety officers on duty in the province, up from 54 in 2007.
Manitoba says the hiring of additional staff in recent years has paid off, reducing the "time-loss injury rate" by about 30% since 2000 and creating savings of more than $100 million annually.
"While it is difficult to put a price tag on safety, there’s no denying that additional inspectors will help reduce the number of hazards in workplaces and, hopefully, decrease the number of Manitobans getting injured at work," MGEU says.
On a per capita basis, Manitoba has a disproportionately high number of workplace injuries compared to other western provinces. In 2008, Manitoba recorded 17,091 workplace injuries. Saskatchewan had 13,731 and Alberta had 32,248.
The province says the additional inspectors will help:
- Reach more workplaces across Manitoba.
- Increase inspection and enforcement activities in high-hazard industries such as construction and manufacturing.
- Enable more proactive initiatives in sectors such as agriculture and health care.
- Establish more occupational safety and health committees and workplace safety and health programs.
- Increase enforcement in workplaces likely to employ new, young and immigrant workers.
- Develop and deliver new programs to increase training and education opportunities for workers and employers.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE