Safety Blitz Targets Ontario Workplaces
McGuinty Government Committed To Eliminating Workplace Injuries
Ontario is continuing its efforts to reduce workplace injuries by focusing on hazards involving musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) during a workplace safety blitz in April.
The blitz will target workplaces in the construction, healthcare, industrial and mining sectors. Inspectors will concentrate on tasks that require workers to exert force in lifting, pushing or carrying items and tasks that put workers in awkward postures or are repetitive.
This initiative is part of the province's new Safe At Work Ontario blitz strategy, launched in June 2008. Keeping 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, and prevented more than 50,000 incidents.
- MSDs are injuries and disorders of the muscles, tendons and nerves that can develop as a result of continued exposure to repetitive work, awkward postures and other factors.
- In 2007, 43 per cent of all lost–time injuries involved MSDs. This amounted to more than 35,000 injured workers.
- Due to a 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 healthcare system, and fewer workers off the job means increased productivity for Ontario’s economy.
- Ontario employs 430 full–time occupational health and safety inspectors.
“Musculoskeletal disorders account for almost half of all injuries in which workers need to take time off work in Ontario—resulting in substantial costs to the medical and workers’ compensation system. Ontario and its workplace partners are committed to eliminating all workplace injuries, including those involving MSDs.”