Safety Blitzes Target Workplace Hazards
McGuinty Government Committed To Eliminating Workplace Injuries
Inspectors are now "blitzing" Ontario's workplaces to help eliminate specific hazards to health and safety.
Ministry of Labour inspectors are concentrating on workplaces with workers aged 24 and under as well as those employing workers of any age who are new to their jobs. As part of the on-going series of "blitzes," inspectors will also be checking construction sites for electrical hazards.
The inspections and the special "blitzes" are an important aspect of the province's new four year plan--Safe At Work Ontario, launched in June.
Safe At Work Ontario allows inspectors more flexibility to conduct pro-active checks of workplaces with a higher-than-average potential for injuries. Among the risk factors are injury rates and associated costs, a company's workplace safety compliance history, and the presence of young workers.
Future health and safety inspections will focus on the following sectors:
- In August, demolition sites
- In September, inspectors will start to concentrate on industrial workplace hazards that can cause workers to fall
- In November, inspectors will focus on electrical hazards in industrial workplaces
- Early next year, inspectors will conduct special checks on industrial sector forklift operations and on construction site conditions that could cause workers to be struck by equipment.
This new plan provides a more effective means of preventing workplace injuries, which reduces the high monetary costs (in addition to the human costs) associated with workplace injuries, resulting in increased productivity to the Ontario economy.
- The Ministry of Labour compliance program that ran from April 1, 2004 to March 31, 2008 reduced the workplace injury rate by 20 per cent, or more than 50,000 incidents.
- Because of this drop in the annual rate of lost time injuries, employers have avoided about $5 billion in direct and indirect costs during the four years ending March 31, 2008.
- In 2007, 20 per cent of construction sector fatalities were related to electrical hazards.
- Ontario employs 430 full-time occupational health and safety inspectors.
“The McGuinty government and its workplace partners are committed to eliminating all workplace injuries. The ‘blitz’ approach adds bite to our bark. Workers have a right to come home each day to their families, safe and sound.”
“As a key workplace health and safety partner. IAPA supports and applauds Ontario’s determination to improve protection for workers and create safe and healthy workplaces throughout the province.”