The Ontario Ministry of Labour has stepped up its schedule of enforcement blitzes, probably because they work. This week, the Ministry released statistics for two recent blitzes and the results showed that many workplaces weren’t ready for them going in, but the results made them compliant, which makes everyone safer.
In one blitz, conducted between October 1 to November 30, 2015, Ministry of Labour inspectors visited 967 construction projects and they ended up stopping work more than 200 times to force compliance with safety requirements having to do with the use of heavy equipment at those sites.
In all, during that two-month blitz, inspectors issued a total of 2,277 orders for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), including 268 stop-work orders for a specific piece of equipment, machine, device or process. They also issued 53 stop-work orders for violations of fall protection regulations and 27 for excavation violations. The good news is, as of March of this year, companies have complied with 95 per cent of all the orders issued during the blitz.
At the same time, Ministry inspectors also conducted a mine safety blitz, visiting 78 mining workplaces across Ontario, where they issued a total of 192 orders for OHS violations, including 16 stop-work orders for specific equipment violations, 23 orders for failure to follow the provincial modular training standard and required program guidelines and 153 orders for violations related to hazards involving equipment, protective barriers, safety precautions and ground conditions.
The good news is that employers have addressed 100 per cent of the orders issued during that safety blitz.
In all, they found problems when they inspected, and now, almost all of those problems have been fixed, which means more workplaces are safer for workers.