The Ministry of Labour (MOL) will be conducting a number of construction safety inspection blitzes in the months ahead.

A province-wide safety blitz is now under way in the underground and surface mine sector.

Inspectors are looking to ensure that the facilities have an effective internal responsibility system (IRS) in place. The IRS brings together all workplace parties, including employers and supervisors and employees, in a co-operative approach to safety.

As part of the blitz, inspectors will ensure that:

  • Employers have a safety policy posted in the workplace that is reviewed at least annually and have a program in place to implement the policy;
  • Workers are aware of the safety policy and know their roles and responsibilities; and
  • Workplaces have an active joint health and safety committee or, where required, a health and safety representative.

In September and October, inspectors will be targeting fall hazards on construction sites, looking for such things as improper guardrails. Inspectors will also be looking for:

  • lack of guardrails
  • inadequate or improper use of fall protection
  • inadequate fall protection trainingunsafe access to and egress from work platforms
  • improper work platforms
  • improper construction and use of scaffolds
  • improper setup and use of suspended access equipment
  • improper use of ladders

In November and December, industrial sites will be in the crosshairs.

In January 2014, inspectors will be looking for infractions on construction projects being done in active workplaces.

In February and March 2014, inspectors will focus on warehousing in the industrial sector.

The MOL has undertaken the inspections as part of its Safe at Work Ontario strategy.

The Ministry says the blitzes allow inspectors to focus on some of the most common root causes of hazards in sectors facing the highest number of injuries. Inspection blitzes are also designed to raise public awareness and increase compliance with health and safety legislation.

The Safe at Work strategy places greater focus on companies that have higher injury rates, or that have a higher risk of incidents due to their industry, size of business, or other factors.