Safety Blitz Targets 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 in November to help eliminate specific electrical hazards that could lead to injuries or fatalities.
Inspectors will check to ensure the power supply to electrical equipment is disconnected before work begins, written lockout procedures are available for electrical equipment and workers are protected if no practical means exists to disconnect the power.
For each conviction, 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.
- Since 1998, there were 69 workers killed, 263 critically injured and 844 received more minor injuries as a result of electrical hazards.
- About 50 per cent of these incidents involved workers who were working on electrical equipment while it was energized.
- Because of the 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.
“The McGuinty government and our workplace partners are working together to eliminate all workplace injuries,” said . “Part of our strategy for achieving this goal is to conduct stepped-up enforcement to prevent electrical hazards at workplaces.”