According to a study released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the federal underfunding and understaffing of safety inspectors is putting workers at risk.
The study noted that 151 inspectors oversaw health and safety in federally regulated employers across the country in 2005. Figures provided by the Labour Program of Employment and Social Development Canada show 90 inspectors currently in place. But the study also details that figures obtained by the Public Service Alliance of Canada show no more than 67 inspectors.
The study explores amendments to the Canada Labour Code that have reduced the power of health and safety inspectors.
According to the study, overall provincial disabling injury rates dropped by 45% from 2002 to 2012. At the same time, the federal rates were just 12%. There were nearly 21,000 disabling injuries in the federally regulated sector in 2012. And 684 employees died as a result of workplace injury between 2002 and 2013.
The study focused on industries such as banking, communications, broadcasting, postal services, road, air, rail and water transport, and the federal government.