Ontario MH safety blitz nets hundreds of violations

by MM&D Staff

From the MM&D January-February 2015 print edition

Ontario inspectors issued almost five orders on average to each workplace visited during a recent blitz targeting material handling hazards.

From September 15 to Octover 26, 2014, Ministry of Labour inspectors visited 701 plants, factories and other industrial sector workplaces across the province. Some of the workplaces were visited several times.

The inspectors issued 3,263 orders for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations. This included 130 stop work orders. As of December 19, 2014, 75 percent of the orders were complied with.

“The safety of workers in Ontario is our top priority,” said Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour. “Blitzes such as this one send a strong message that non-compliance will not be tolerated. We must all work together to prevent injuries and deaths. We want workers in Ontario to return home safe and sound after a hard day’s work.”

The inspectors visited the workplaces to check that employers were taking appropriate action to assess and address possible material handling hazards.

This workplace safety blitz was part of the government’s continued commitment to preventing workplace injuries and illness through its Safe At Work Ontario enforcement initiative.

“Workers can be seriously injured or even die as a result of incidents involving material handling,” said George Gritziotis, Chief Prevention Officer. “We’re working to improve the health and safety of workers in Ontario. But we can’t do it alone. Everyone has a shared responsibility to keep workplaces safe.”

Since 2008, ministry inspectors have conducted more than 345,000 field visits, and 66 inspection blitzes. Inspectors have issued more than 560,000 compliance orders in Ontario workplaces.