Ontario’s Prevention Council Chair released the statement below:

“The Prevention Council is committed to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety system and acknowledges that falls is the lead cause for injury, disability and death in Ontario’s workplaces. May 3rd–7th marks this year’s Construction Safety Week and Falls Awareness Week. Falls Awareness Week is an annual social awareness campaign focused on preventing falls in the workplace. For this year’s week-long campaign, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has collaborated with the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) to provide key fall prevention resources for Ontario’s construction sector, where falls are consistently the leading cause of worker death and injury. Given this unprecedented time, this year’s week-long campaign has shifted to a virtual platform to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Falls Awareness Week is an opportunity to bring attention to the severity of falls at work and encourages Ontario’s Health and Safety sector to hold a virtual safety talk about how to prevent, mitigate and address falls hazards in the workplace. Any workplace can participate in Falls Awareness Week by stopping work for 15-30 minutes at any time in the workday, from the 3rd to 7thof May, to hold a virtual safety talk about preventing falls in the workplace.

IHSA has developed a free, downloadable Fall Prevention Toolkit to support the participation of the construction sector in Falls Awareness Week. The toolkit includes a how-to-guide to set up a successful virtual safety talk and includes valuable resources on fall prevention in construction. IHSA has also developed free, on-demand webinars on fall prevention-related topics, such as: fall prevention and working at heights (WAH) in residential construction, safe ladder use, trip hazards on job sites and temporary stairs.

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has also developed a downloadable Promoter and Supporter Toolkit to help organizations build social media content to support Falls Awareness Week. The kit contains two-pages of falls statistics in construction that can be used to support key messaging on the importance of fall prevention in construction workplaces. All of these materials are available on the IHSA Falls Awareness Week page.

We encourage all workplaces to participate virtually in this important campaign and thank you for your ongoing support in keeping Ontario’s workers safe.”

More information about Falls Awareness Week and how you can participate can be found on the IHSA Falls Awareness Week page. https://www.ihsa.ca/Topics-Hazards/Fall-Awareness-Week.aspx