Safety Blitz Targets Fall Hazards
McGuinty Government Committed To Eliminating Workplace Injuries
Ontario is working towards safer workplaces by focusing on protecting workers from hazards that can cause them to slip, trip or fall.
During a November blitz, health and safety inspectors will concentrate on transportation, education, industrial services, retail and wholesale workplaces.
Inspectors will look for fall-from-height hazards involving platforms, raised floors, mezzanines and ladders. They will check fall-arrest equipment and guardrails and will be on the lookout for dangerous practices such as working on storage racks. They will also check for proper use of 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 workplace inspection blitz is part of the province's Safe At Work Ontario compliance strategy. Keeping more workers safe increases productivity for Ontario's economy and reduces strain on the health care system.
- About a fifth of industrial workplace injuries are caused by slips, trips and falls - and about one industrial workplace fatality in four is the result of a fall.
- Education workplaces currently experience the greatest number of critical injuries within the "industrial" sector (which excludes mining, health care and construction workplaces). The most common cause of these is same-level falls or slips.
- In 2008, the average cost (direct and indirect) to employers of a lost-time workplace injury was $120,500. Between the beginning of April 2004 and the end of March 2008, declining rates of lost-time workplace injuries have saved employers more than $5 billion in direct and indirect costs. More than 50,000 incidents were avoided.
“Slips, trips and falls continue to cause workplace injuries and fatalities. The McGuinty government and our workplace partners are collaborating to eliminate all workplace injuries. Blitz inspections help to remind employers and workers that most workplace injuries are preventable.”