Construction Safety Blitz Targets Concrete Formwork
McGuinty Government Committed To Eliminating Workplace Injuries
Ontario is continuing its efforts to reduce workplace injuries by focusing on hazards related to the design, erection and dismantling of forms used in the placement of concrete on building sites.
Throughout August, Ministry of Labour occupational health and safety inspectors will concentrate on a wide range of hazards related to formwork. These include conditions that could cause workers to fall, be electrocuted, sustain injuries in trenches and excavations, or be struck or crushed by vehicles and equipment. Inspectors will also monitor ergonomic issues.
There will be a zero-tolerance approach to contraventions of regulations related to fall-protection, trench shoring and work near high-voltage power lines.This initiative is part of the province's Safe At Work Ontario blitz strategy announced in June 2008. Keeping workers safe means increased productivity for Ontario's economy and less strain on the province's health care system.
- Construction formwork and demolition resulted in a lost-time injury rate more than 2.5 times the construction average in 2008 according to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
- The Ministry of Labour compliance program that ran from April 1, 2004 to March 31, 2008 reduced the workplace annual injury rate by 20 per cent, or more than 50,000 incidents.
- 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, thus helping to enhance the productivity of Ontario's economy.
- The Ministry of Labour employs 430 full-time occupational health and safety inspectors.
“All workers have a right to come home each day to their families, safe and sound. We are determined to eliminate all workplace injuries, including injuries arising from work with concrete forms.”