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WINNIPEG – As residential construction continues to boom throughout the province, the need for protection against falls – especially those from height – among workers becomes increasingly important.

To illustrate the need for proper protection, a fall demonstration took place today at the Construction Safety Association of Manitoba’s (CSAM) Fall Protection Training Centre. Industry workers demonstrated proper safety procedures when working atop a residential roof structure, and through the use of a dummy, illustrated what happens when proper fall protection isn’t utilized.

“Fall protection systems and technology like guardrails, fall arrests and safety nets, are critical to saving lives,” says Assistant Deputy Minister of Labour Don Hurst. “There’s no such thing as an accident; all injuries and all falls are preventable.”

“The key to fall prevention is two-fold: employers need to develop, implement and train workers on safe work procedures, and workers must ensure that they comply with those procedures,” says Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba President and CEO Doug Sexsmith. “Through awareness and outreach, we’re driving that safety message home and helping to foster a culture of health and safety throughout Manitoba.”

Current statistics on falls in Manitoba include:

  • To date in 2008, there have been 510 falls from height and 1,283 slips and falls.
  • In 2007, 2,004 slips and falls and 903 falls from heights occurred in Manitoba workplaces.
  • One in ten time loss injuries are from slips, trips and falls.
  • One in twenty time loss injuries are falls from height.
  • One in ten acute hazard fatalities is caused by a fall from height.

With CSAM’s new Fall Protection Training Centre, workers in the construction industry will now have a facility to gain practical, hands-on fall protection training.

“Training is key to effectively implementing workplace safety and health programs that will ultimately prevent falls and injuries,” says Sean Scott, CSAM Executive Director.

The SAFE Work strategy is a joint initiative of the WCB and the province’s Workplace Safety and Health Division to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses through promotion, protection and education.

SAFE:Spot the hazard. Assess the risk. Find a safer way. Everyday.

For more information contact:

Warren Preece
Director of Communications
Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba

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