Safety Blitz Targeting Industrial Workplaces
McGuinty Government Committed To Eliminating Workplace Injuries
As part of Ontario's ongoing efforts to help reduce workplace injuries, inspectors will be "blitzing" industrial workplaces over the next month to help eliminate specific hazards that could lead to falls.
Inspectors will look for fall hazards at heights, such as on any platform, raised floor, mezzanine or ladder. This will include checking for fall arrest equipment, guardrails and the use of inappropriate procedures such as climbing up shelving or working on storage racks. They will also check for proper use of portable, extension and step ladders.
For each violation, the court can impose a fine of up to $500,000 against a corporation convicted under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Individuals face a fine of up to $25,000 or imprisonment of up to 12 months, or both.
This initiative is part of the province's new Safe At Work Ontario blitz strategy, announced on July 23, 2008. Keeping more workers safe means increased productivity for Ontario's economy and less strain on the health care system.
- 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.
- Twenty per cent of workplace injuries are caused by slips, trips and falls. Twenty-seven per cent of the fatalities reported in industrial workplaces are the result of falls.
- 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. Reduced injuries also result in less strain on the health care system, and fewer workers off the job means increased productivity for Ontario’s economy.
- Ontario employs 430 full-time occupational health and safety inspectors.
“Falls are a leading cause of workplace injuries and fatalities. The McGuinty government and our workplace partners are working together to eliminate all workplace injuries. Blitzing industrial workplaces to prevent slips and falls will help us take a step closer to achieving our goal.”