Police officers working on construction sites without safety gear
Frequently, you will see cops working very close to construction sites, or even on construction sites proper, without construction safety equipment. In cases like this, who is responsible for enforcing the Occupational Health & Safety Act (as it's called in Ontario)?
By Alec Caldwell
Like everyone else, police officers have the right to be protected under the Occupational Health & Safety Act (as it’s called in Ontario – but each province has such legislation) if they are working on your construction site. Whether there are high voltage power lines in play, or risks of falls or falling objects, they are no different than any other worker on your site from a safety and legal point of view.
If paid duty – or regular duty – cops are working on your site (even if that work is “merely” directing traffic or making sure passersby don’t wander onto your site), they legally need to be protected by the right gear and equipment – including hard hats, etc. Few people know this. You may never have thought of this.
How often is this enforced? How often do you see cops equipped with construction safety gear, around construction sites? And who should enforce the Occupational Health & Safety Act, even when there is a cop on the scene? Who should police the police, in other words?
One of our CARAHS members snapped this photo (BELOW) last week at an intersection in the Toronto GTA area. In this pic you can see how close the construction workers are to this officer and how these workers are protected by safety equipment, including hard hats.
This policy office wears no hard hat or any other protection. What would happen if something were to fall on him from height, or a electrical cable came tumbling down?
I’m wondering if this is an oversight and want to bring this to notice.
By providing education and training, CARAHS reduces your risk of fines, job site closures and prosecution under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act.
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