Road worker safety law receives public hearing
On Tuesday, December 3, Bill 2, the proposed road worker safety law, went to a public hearing before the Manitoba Legislative Committee on Human Resources. Worker representatives and private citizens had their say about the province's plan to make road construction workplaces safer for workers. Nearly everyone who appeared before the committee spoke in support of the new rules.
Manitoba Federation of Labour (MFL) President Kevin Rebeck made a presentation expressing strong support for the bill and urging speedy passage so that the new rules can be in place by the time the 2014 construction season begins in the spring. Rebeck summarized the MFL position like this:
"Road workers need drivers to slow down. Drivers need clear signs telling them exactly what speed limits are in effect. And employers need to know what is expected of them to operate a safe workplace. Bill 2 is a necessary step in accomplishing all of these things.
Read the entire MFL presentation HERE.
Other presentations in favour of bill 2 were made by CUPE Manitoba, Operating Engineers Local 987, MGEU and the Winnipeg Labour Council. Some individual road workers also participated in the hearing.
The Committee gave special recognition to the work of Charlene Harrison, mother of Brittany Murray, who attended the meeting with her husband Russ. Brittany Murray was killed in 2010 when she was struck by a speeding vehicle in the construction zone where she was working as a flagger. Murray's family and friends have rallied in support of Bill 2, hoping that better safety protections can be an important legacy for their lost loved one.
Bill 2 will now go back to the full legislature for more debate. A final vote on the bill will take place on Thursday, December 5.
Read about the proposed law HERE.
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