Alberta workplace safety records soon to go online

Alberta workplace safety records will be made public as early as September, vows the province's employment minister.

Thomas Lukaszuk said the public database will contain the records of most employers insured by the Workers' Compensation Board - calling it a first in Canada.

"This database will have many possibilities," he said.

"By far, it is the most comprehensive set of (employer) information issued ever by any province."

The online safety records will include the number of lost-time claims, estimated number of employees, fatality numbers and other information for specific employers.

Lukaszuk said people will be able to search by employer or type of industry.

The information is expected to go online in September.

Nancy Furlong, with the Alberta Federation of Labour, said the online database falls short in a number of areas.

She said she was disappointed to learn the published information won't include Workplace Health and Safety violations and convictions.

NDP critic Rachel Notley said the province should also post injury rates for specific workplaces rather than the more general lost-time rates.

"It is still not giving us the information Albertans want to know," said Notley.

This is part of Lukaszuk's 10-point plan for improving workplace safety. Other components include hiring more Occupational Health and Safety officers and introducing a pilot project for weekend and evening worksite inspections, among other things.

Edmonton Sun, Tues Aug 31 2010
Byline: Frank Landry

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