Name Alessandro Nania 101180719
Title: Workplace Harassment Ethics: Occupational Cancer in Ontario’s Construction Industry
Construction plays a primary role in developing and advancing communities, nations, and civilization. Canada’s construction sector has been steadily growing and is credited with a considerable portion of the nation’s GDP. Nonetheless, construction operations have always posed numerous challenges to individuals and communities. The risk for health issues and facilities is highest among construction workers who come in contact with numerous construction materials that can be potentially dangerous. The sections that follow will discuss work-related illnesses and diseases in Ontario, Canada. Subsequently, the articles will discuss the protocol used to address the incidence of work-related illnesses and recommend how such cases can be addressed better.
Protocol for Dealing with Issue
The occupational environment in the construction industry has been a cause of many injuries and illnesses among the sector’s workforce. Despite the huge advancement in the machinery, equipment, and materials used in the sector, work-related diseases remain in the construction sector. For instance, some of the work-related health issues exhibited in Ontario’s construction sector include falls, equipment-related injuries, and chronic ailments such as muscle-skeletal disorders and cancers (Frisa, 2021). The risk of any business exposing its employees to harm in the occupational environment created a need for an occupational health and safety compliance guidelines designed to prevent, mitigate, and manage the incidence of harm that may be attributed to the occupational environment.
Reporting and Investigating Occupational Cancer
The Meredith Report brought forth the “Historic Compromise” in Canada. The report was an agreement between employers and employees that in the event an employee was exposed to harm in the occupational environment, the employer would compensate them or offer the necessary long-term financial support required. On the other hand, the employer would be protected from legal litigation and possibly even bankruptcy since the employee would not sue if their employer fulfilled the obligation in the agreement (OMLSD, 2022). The agreement worked tremendously for injuries and ailments that could be diagnosed immediately. For cancer and other long-term ailments, the late diagnosis and establishment of the origin of the ailment presented new challenges to the historic compromise. Therefore, new protocols were required for employees exposed to carcinogens frequently.
The legislative and policy formulation framework created to mediate the incidence of occupational cancer in Ontario authored a report that set the context for the compensation of occupational cancer victims. In the report, there are three principles that determine entitlement. First, establishing the occupational environment as the predominant source of the carcinogens that caused the ailment is not a primary requirement in the investigation. The second principle was that absolute certainty was not a requirement in the investigation (Demers, 2022). Lastly, the employee who was the victim of occupational cancer was to be afforded the benefit of the doubt. Nonetheless, an investigation process would be used to determine the entitlement of the victim to the compensation warranted by the said scenario. As such, entitlement is typically determined on a case-to-case basis. Once a claim for occupational cancer has been filed, the filed claim simultaneously triggers the information collection process of the investigation (Demers, 2022). In the investigation, the charged official gathers information regarding the victim’s employment history, medical history, and exposure to ailment factors. The investigator then weighs the information gathered in the context of the current medical and scientific evidence to establish uniformity and validity of the claim. During the investigation process, the professional charged with the task must also consult with other professionals relevant to the subject matter before making the decision.
Gaps in the above Protocol
Contrarily, there are numerous factors that impose major difficulties in the compensation of the victims of occupational cancer. Besides, this is especially the cases where the decision-makers are keen on making the compensation decision based on the employee’s work history. The first one is that the investigative body and processes do not acknowledge primary care providers in their decision. Consequently, there is a huge disparity between the number of occupational cancer cases reported and those that are compensated (Demers, 2022). Moreover, the epidemiologic processes used to assess the risk caused by carcinogens are usually conducted at a group level rather than an individual level. In turn, the approach taken by the investigation level to ascertain validity for the claim is more statistically significant rather than clinically significant. Besides, there is a considerable chance that individuals who deserve to be compensated for their occupational cancer ailments may be wrongfully denied the care and support they deserve because their cases fall within the boundaries of statistical anomalies (Demers, 2022). The current body of science has not explored the impact of exposure to multiple carcinogens, but rather, their focus is on the impact of a single carcinogen agent. The present limitations in scientific inquiry limit the entitlement determination process. Thus, there is a huge likelihood that there are many other ways an individual could develop cancerous ailments that the available literature has not acknowledged.
Proactive Preventative Strategies
There are numerous changes and strategies that can be used to eliminate the disparities and adverse effects attributed to occupational cancer. The first one is an expansion of the policy guidelines used to establish a victim’s entitlement to compensation. There are numerous valid scenarios where an individual may have been exposed to carcinogens in the workplace that the narrow criteria may not validate. The agencies in charge of the investigation should expand their policies to ensure that they incorporate all the relevant factors that should be considered in the process used to qualify construction employees for compensation. Hence, the investigation should be altered to assume an individual-specific approach instead of a group-specific approach to avoid alienating statistical anomalies that may be qualified if clinical significance is employed.
Demers, P. (2022). Using Scientific Evidence and Principle to Help Determine the Work-Relatedness of Cancer. Retrieved from https://www.ontario.ca/document/using-scientific-evidence-and-principles-help-determine-work-relatedness-cancer?_ga=2.96800667.546347886.1643400696-1863812709.1643400696
Frisa, K. (2021). Top Construction Safety Risks in Canada. Retrieved from https://www.procore.com/jobsite/top-construction-safety-risks-in-canada/
Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development (OMLSD). (2022). Health and Safety. Retrieved from https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/
Name Alessandro Nania 101180719