The Ministry of Labour plans several enforcement blitzes targeting construction sites over the next year.

Tower and mobile crane operators, in particular, should be especially vigilant as a blitz in July and August will target their sector.

Fines for non-compliance are very steep so operators should report any known workplace hazards or contraventions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to their supervisor or employer.

The province says inspectors will be sent to workplaces in a number of target industries, including construction.

The first construction sector enforcement blitz began in May and runs for a four-month period. It is aimed an ensuring students are safe and don’t get injured while working on summer jobs. Inspectors are visiting workplaces – including construction sites – where new and young workers are employed.

Between 2006 and 2010, 34 young workers aged 15 to 24 died in work-related incidents in Ontario. During the same time period, more than 46,000 young workers received injuries resulting in lost time at work.

The blitz will ensure young workers:

  • Are protected by required safety measures, equipment and procedures to prevent injuries;
  • Are properly instructed, trained and supervised on jobs; and
  • Meet minimum age requirements.

The inspectors have been ordered to shut down unsafe worksites when necessary and employers could face fines under the OHSA.

The second construction sector enforcement blitz runs in June and targets hazards associated with traffic control during roadwork.

The third construction sector enforcement blitz runs through July and August and will be aimed at tower and mobile cranes.

The fourth construction sector enforcement blitz runs through September and October and will target supervisors on construction projects.

In early 2013, the province also plans an enforcement blitz on ladder safety and fall protection hazards in the construction and industrial sectors.

According to the province, enforcement blitzes in 2010 included 9,000 visits to worksites, resulting in 26,000 compliance orders being issued.

The province’s team of more than 400 health and safety inspectors have conducted 25 inspection blitzes and issued more than 360,000 compliance orders since June 2008.