Figures released by the Ministry of Labour show that Ontario’s construction industry modestly improved its incident record in 2011.

Both construction industry fatalities and critical injuries declined, according to the data.

The industry experienced 22 fatalities and 134 critical injuries for the year, compared to 25 fatalities and 139 critical injuries for 2010.

The age profile of construction workers who lost their lives on the job is as follows:

  • ages 20-29 years: five fatalities
  • ages 30-39 years: two fatalities
  • ages 40-49 years: seven fatalities
  • ages 50-59: four fatalities
  • ages 60+: four fatalities

Ministry officials, in their initial analysis of the year, have noted that a number of industry sectors made significant improvements in reducing their overall injury rates, most notably:

  • homebuilding: down 13 per cent
  • heavy civil construction: down 11.3 per cent
  • siding and outside finishing: down 10.1 per cent

The formwork, demolition, and mechanical and sheet metal sectors were also recognized for their year-over-year improvements.

Looking ahead, Ministry officials intend to focus on the level of safety engagement on construction projects in 2012, as determined through:

  • the presence of effective supervision
  • the presence of a health and safety representative and/or a functional health and safety committee

In March there will be trade specific blitzes in the formwork, masonry, siding and outside finishing, and built-up roofing sectors of the construction industry.

The Ministry expects between 1,000 and 1,200 field visits will be made during the blitzes.