Inspectors visit more than 900 Ontario workplaces during blitz, issue dozens of stop work orders
Toronto – Ontario government inspectors issued 65 stop work orders during a recent enforcement blitz to prevent slips, trips and falls at workplaces in the province’s industrial sector.
From February 2 to March 15, 2015, Ministry of Labour inspectors visited 946 workplaces across the province, including restaurants, retail establishments, vehicle sales, metal fabrication and other workplaces. Some of the workplaces were visited several times.
“Slips, trips and falls can result in serious injuries or death, but they are preventable. This blitz educated both employers and workers about their rights and responsibilities, and addressed infractions that could lead to injuries,” said Kevin Flynn, provincial Minister of Labour. In 2013, 11 workers died in falls at industrial workplaces.
The inspectors issued 3,603 orders for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations. The stop work orders were issued in response to health and safety issues, including:
– portable ladders that had bent or damaged legs or rungs, or were missing non-slip footing
– fixed position access ladders without side rails to protect workers from falling, and
– failing to ensure guardrails were provided around openings in floors to protect workers from fall hazards.
A stop work order requires work to stop on a specific piece of equipment, machine, device or process until the hazard has been addressed.
“These results show slips, trips and falls continue to be a major safety hazard at industrial workplaces. We are working to improve workers’ health and safety, but we can’t do it alone. Employers, labour groups, workers and others must all play a role in ensuring workplaces are safe and healthy,” said George Gritziotis, the province’s chief prevention officer.
As of June 9, 2015, more than 85% of the orders issued during the blitz were complied with.
Protecting workers is part of the government’s continued commitment to prevent workplace injuries and illness through its Safe At Work Ontario enforcement initiative.