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  • 1 in 5 Canadian workplaces have no safety programs for new workers, survey suggests

1 in 5 Canadian workplaces have no safety programs for new workers, survey suggests

A new survey suggests almost 20 per cent of Canadian businesses do not offer safety and orientation programs that are legally required for new workers in much of the country — a finding one labour law expert calls "shocking" and evidence of "widespread lawbreaking."

The research, conducted by Angus Reid and commissioned by Threads of Life, a group that advocates for workplace safety, reflects a reality Cynthia Kathleen "C.K." DesGrosseilliers knows all too well.

Her brother Tim was killed by falling equipment while on the job in downtown Toronto five years ago. She's been fighting to raise awareness about workplace safety ever since.

"Tim would say that we need employers and supervisors that make safety priority one," the Toronto resident told CBC News.

DesGrosseilliers says she can point to three major factors that led to his death: he was assigned the job at the last minute, he wasn't given a spotter while working and he didn't have up-to-date training.

545 companies surveyed

The survey was conducted from March 23 to 25 with hiring managers at 545 companies who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The poll has a comparable margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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