Summer is prime time for roofing projects for both homeowners and construction firms. Many roofers around Manitoba are using fall protection to help prevent injury – but many are not. More than two Manitobans die falling from heights each year.

The WCB’s latest SAFE Work campaign – Tie One On – reminds everyone of the importance of using injury protection, and points them to the appropriate guidelines and resources to provide information and help prevent falls from heights. The 2011 campaign will be promoting Workplace Safety and Health Division enforcement and public participation to ensure everyone is following proper safety procedures.

The Honourable Jennifer Howard

“Safety of roofers and all workers is always a high priority,” says Jennifer Howard, Minister of Labour and Immigration. “To support safe workplaces we have added 20 inspectors, which has allowed us to more than double the number of inspections since 2000. This summer inspectors will be paying particular attention to serious hazards such as falls. In this campaign, we are asking the public to get involved to help prevent tragedies from occurring.”

Public participation is a new component in this campaign. If members of the public see someone using improper techniques when working from heights, they will be encouraged to call the Workplace Safety and Health Division to notify them.

Doug Sexsmith

“As part of our efforts under our SAFE Work strategy, our goal is for everyone to believe that all workplace injuries are preventable,” says Doug Sexsmith, President and CEO of the Workers Compensation Board. “The WCB is also actively promoting safety in workplaces and construction sites, for instance, our Safe on Site program provides contractors with onsite visits to actively assist with the understanding and implementation of a positive safety culture.”

Manitoba’s Workplace Safety and Health Act requires roofers – whether they are working on commercial or residential jobsites – to use fall protection systems to prevent fall-related injuries and fatalities.

There are various types of fall protection systems for use when working at heights. Examples include guardrails, travel restraint systems, fall arrests systems and safety Always remember these guidelines when working at heights:

  • Workers require fall protection when working at heights of three meters (10 feet) or more or heights at less than three meters if working near a dangerous area
  • Workers must be trained and follow SAFE Work procedures
  • Cover surface openings securely and label covers
  • If working in a body harness, ensure the equipment fits properly and is in good condition
  • Never stand or walk on the top plate of a wall without fall protection. 

For more information, visit www.safemanitoba.com and click on Campaigns – Tie One On. You can also contact the Construction Safety Association of Manitoba at (204) 775-3171 or Workplace Safety and Health at (204) 945-3446.

If members of the public see someone using improper techniques when working from heights, they are encouraged to call the Workplace Safety and Health Division at 1-866-888-8186.

For more information contact:

Warren Preece
Director of Communications
WCB Manitoba
(204) 954-4113
e-mail: [email protected]