Toronto, ON — The Ontario Ministry of Labour plans to hire as many as 200 new health and safety inspectors over the next two years to help reduce the number of claims by injured workers in the province’s most unsafe workplaces.
Labour minister Chris Bentley announced recently that 100 new inspectors would be on the job by November. Another 100 will be added to the ministry’s payroll in 2005, bringing the total number of workplace safety inspectors to 430. The cost of the added inspectors will be $28 million per year.
When all the new inspectors are in place next year, Ontario will have 5.4 inspectors for every 100,000 workers, an increase from 3.8 in 2003.
Annually, Ontario sees 300,000 workplace injuries reported. The investment is hoped to reduce this number by 20% by 2008, saving about $300 million for the province’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
The new inspectors will work in sectors and workplaces that have the highest rates of injuries, visiting high-risk facilities quarterly.