Ontario Preventing Falls Hazards at Workplaces
Province Targets Hazards in the Construction, Industrial and Mining Sectors
Ontario will target hazards that can lead to falls during a safety blitz at workplaces across the province from May 16 to July 15, 2016.
Falls are a leading cause of worker injuries and deaths in Ontario. Ministry of Labour inspectors will check that employers are properly assessing and addressing hazards that could cause workers to fall. They will visit a variety of workplaces in the construction, industrial and mining sectors. These include:
• Low-rise and high-rise new build and renovation projects
• Retail, restaurants and other industrial establishments
• Mines and mining plants
In particular, inspectors will check that:
• Employers have policies, programs and safe work practices in place to protect workers from falls
• Employers have assessed ladders, mobile stands and platforms for hazards, maintained equipment and placed it on firm footing when in use
• Safety barriers such as guardrails are installed when needed
• Employers have trained workers on the use of appropriate fall protection systems, personal protective equipment and other safety devices when working at heights
• Employers ensure that workers are working safely on truck beds, trailers or the top of loads
Protecting workers is part of the government's continued commitment to prevent workplace injuries and illness through its Safe At Work Ontario enforcement initiative.
" Workers are at serious risk of falls in construction, industrial and mining workplaces in Ontario. This blitz and other initiatives are helping to prevent worker injuries and deaths. We want all workers to return home to their families safe and sound each work day."
- Kevin Flynn
Minister of Labour
" Falls remain one of the major causes of critical injuries and fatalities. Workplace safety is a shared responsibility. We must all work together to prevent these types of hazards. We all have a role and responsibility in preventing injury."
- George Gritziotis
Chief Prevention Officer
• Falls are the number one cause of critical injuries and deaths of construction workers in Ontario. In 2015, 10 workers died at construction projects from falls.
• In 2015, there were eight work-related deaths from falls at industrial workplaces.
• Between 1991 and 2015, 10 workers died in Ontario mines as a result of incidents involving falls.
• Since 2008, ministry inspectors have conducted more than 620,000 field visits, and 79 inspection blitzes.
• Inspectors have issued more than 1 million compliance orders across all sectors in Ontario since June 2008.
• Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the right to refuse unsafe work applies to all workers other than specified types of workers in specified circumstances ( i.e. police officers , firefighter and correctional officers). Workers can report unsafe work to the Ministry of Labour any time by calling the Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008. In an emergency, always call 911 immediately.
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