July 2017 Review: Ministry of Labour Blitz Results
The Ministry of Labour (MOL) conducts blitzes every year. It’s part of their overall goals that include keeping workers in Ontario safe, ensuring that employers are compliant with Ontario Health and Safety Act (OHSA), and increasing hazard awareness in workplaces across the province. While blitz initiatives are announced ahead of time, workplaces that get visited during blitzes are not notified beforehand. The focus of the blitzes range from falls from heights on construction sites to ensuring that servers receive proper pay in the service sector. They cover the industrial, service, and construction sectors, and they are in place to protect workers in all types of jobs in every industry.
As private health and safety providers, OSG considers the results of blitzes conducted by the MOL very telling. An outstanding report can indicate that the health and safety industry is doing a good job of ensuing that training is being applied to the job, and that it’s successful in its aim to reduce workplace accidents and fatalities. Blitz results that show several major areas of improvement indicate gaps in health and safety instruction that can be addressed with training, a sound health and safety program, and education. The MOL publishes the results of their blitzes but usually takes months after the blitz has concluded. Below, we summarize some of the latest blitz results.
Blitz Focus: Mobile Cranes and Material Hoisting (September 2016)
Results Summary: 686 workplaces were visited, resulting in 1613 orders being written. 118 stop-work orders were issued. The most common violations were related to fall protection, personal protective equipment (specifically the use of hard hats), and crane operations. The majority of issued stop-work orders were related to fall protection and use of scaffolds. Based on these findings, the Ministry of Labour concluded that employers need to be more vigilant in enforcement of, and compliance with, requirements for personal protective equipment on construction sites.
Blitz Focus: Fall Hazards (July 2016)
Results Summary: 3343 workplaces were visited, resulting in 10321 orders being written. Of those orders, an astounding 653 were stop-work orders. These orders are the result of inspections conducted in the construction, industrial, and mining sectors. The Ministry of Labour concluded from these results that fall hazards continue to be a major concern. All workplaces were urged to improve their fall safety programs and complete Ministry of Labour-approved Working at Heights: Construction training.
Blitz Focus: Young and New Workers (June 2016)
Results Summary: Young workers are more likely to be injured on the job during their first month of employment than at any other time. The Ministry of Labour aims to ensure that all employers give all young and new workers appropriate safety training. 1144 workplaces were visited during this blitz, resulting in 3113 orders and 44 stop-work orders. The most common violation was not having an OHSA Act posted, followed by having equipment in good working condition, and failure to take reasonable precautions to protect worker safety. The blitz results indicate that continued effort is needed to protect young workers, and that continued enforcement is required.
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