November 2017 Review: Ministry of Labour Blitz Results

The Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) schedules blitzes and initiatives every year that aim to make workplaces safer for Ontarians. The blitzes and initiatives are scheduled in specific sectors, and are meant to ensure that both the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Employment Standards Act are being followed. As well, blitzes and initiatives enhance employer awareness of their responsibilities, and their role in keeping employees safe on the job.

Chemical Handling 2016 Blitz Summary

Workers can be at risk of serious injuries, occupational illness, and even death if there are hazards present when handing chemicals in the workplace.

Blitz Date:

September 19, 2017 – October 31, 2017

Blitz Goals:

  • Raise awareness of chemical handling hazards in the workplace
  • Increase workplace compliance with the safe handing and use of chemicals
  • Prevent worker injuries, illness, and death

Blitz Results:

The MOL conducted over 803 field visits to 638 workplaces

Total Orders Written: 2887

Total Stop Work Orders: 47

Top Three Violations Resulting in Orders:

  1. Equipment, materials, and protective devices provided by the employer were maintained in good condition
  2. Workers completed a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program
  3. Every reasonable precaution in the circumstances was taken for the protection of workers

Blitz Focus

Inspectors checked that employers, supervisors, and workers were complying with requirements for safe chemical handling under the OHSA and its regulations. They focused on the following key priorities:

  • WHMIS
  • Labelling
  • Engineering controls
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Housekeeping
  • Materials handling
  • Internal Responsibility System (IRS)
  • Worker training
  • Workplace supervision

Blitz Conclusions:

Employers need to be diligent in ensuring equipment, materials, and protective devices are maintained in good condition. Increased attention is required to train workers to prevent chemical handling injuries, occupational illness, and even death. This includes basic awareness and training related to chemicals in use in the workplace and use/care of PPE.

Ministry officials will continue to focus on raising awareness of chemical handling hazards in the workplace.

While blitz and initiative focuses and schedules are released ahead of time, workplaces are not notified in advance. To see more blitz results, and a full schedule of upcoming blitzes and initiatives, please click here.

Written by Jennifer Miller | Curriculum Development Coordinator


 

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