Prez of AFL says Alberta dangerous for workers

Alberta has many dangerous industries for employees, with a government that is spending less on workplace safety than they were in 1991.

According to Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour who cited from a report titled Danger: Workers at Risk put out by the Alberta Federation of Labour keeping Albertans safe is not the high priority it should be with the government.

Alberta has more workplace deaths than anywhere else in Canada with 5.9 per 100,000 workers dying on the job. That is much higher than the 4.2 Canadian average.

Since 1991 the number of Albertans of working in the four most dangerous industries have almost doubled. Yet despite the increase Alberta employs fewer health and safety inspectors than elsewhere in Canada. There are only 1.4 inspectors per 10,000 workers compared with the national figure of 2.1

"Workplace fatalities shot up during the last boom - and they'll shoot up again if we don't put adequate resources and procedures in place now," concludes McGowan.

"Now - before the next boom starts - is the time to fix Alberta's broken system for workplace safety. If we don't, more Albertans are going to needlessly pay the price. And that price will be paid with their bodies and with their lives."

Digital Journal, Wed Apr 28 2010

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