Manual material handling blitz reveals hundreds of violations

Ontario inspectors issued almost five orders on average to each workplace visited during a recent blitz targeting material handling hazards.
From Sept. 15 to Oct. 26, Ministry of Labour inspectors visited 701 plants, factories and other industrial sector workplaces across the province. Some of the workplaces were visited several times.

“Workers can be seriously injured or even die as a result of incidents involving material handling,” said George Gritziotis, chief prevention officer.

The inspectors issued 3,263 orders for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations. This included 130 stop work orders.

As of Dec. 19, three-quarters of the orders were complied with.

“Blitzes such as this one send a strong message that non-compliance will not be tolerated,” said Kevin Flynn, minister of labour. “We must all work together to prevent injuries and deaths.”

The inspectors visited the workplaces to check that employers were taking appropriate action to assess and address possible material handling hazards.

Material handling involves activities related to the loading, unloading, storage and movement of goods and supplies in workplaces.