Injuries in federally regulated workplaces on the rise: Report

Union wants government to reduce injury rate by 20 per cent in next 5 years

The federal government is putting workers at risk by under-funding and under-staffing federal safety inspection, according to a report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

The rate of disabling injuries in federally regulated workplaces increased by five per cent between 2002 and 2007 while the provinces have managed to cut their disabling workplace injuries by an average of 25 per cent over the same time frame, found the report Success is No Accident.

"The federal government is abdicating its responsibility to protect workers' health and safety," said John Gordon, national president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). "This report proves that the spending freezes and job cuts mandated by the 2010 federal budget will do more harm than good."

In 2006, there were 140 Labour Affairs Officers, federal workplace inspectors, but that number had dropped to 125 by 2007. This leaves just 125 people responsible for protecting more than a million workers, according to the report.

The report recommends the federal government immediately hire more Labour Affairs Officers and ensure they are properly compensated.

PSAC also wants the federal government to commit to reducing the workplace injury rate by 20 per cent within the next five years.

"If the provinces can do it, why can't the federal government?" asked Gordon.

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