Safety blitz focuses on conveyor hazards

The Ontario Ministry of Labour is focusing this month’s safety inspection blitz on safe operation of conveyor systems.

Conveyor systems are used in industrial workplaces to move goods from one spot to another. Labour inspectors will visit industrial workplaces during increased enforcement in November and December to ensure that: conveyors have proper guarding devices; conveyors are being locked out when needed; and, conveyor workers are protected from developing musculoskeletal disorders, such as repetitive strain injuries.
“We want everyone to be aware of the guarding and lockout hazards involving conveyor systems, and need to make sure all measures are in place to prevent injuries. At the end of the day, workers should return home safe and sound to their families,” said Peter Fonseca, Minister of Labour, in a statement.

Between 2005 and 2008 two workers died and 48 workers were seriously injured in conveyor-related incidents. Between 2005 and 2008, workers missed an average of about 68 days due to a conveyor injury, according to WSIB lost-time injury data. The total number of workdays lost was 74,459.

The safety inspection blitz is a part of the government’s Safe At Work Ontario strategy, which aims to significantly reduce workplace injuries in the province.

Meanwhile, Ontario is also making it easier for workers and the public to report or inquire about workplace health and safety-related issues, with the recent launch of the Ministry of Labour’s new Health & Safety Contact Centre.
The new contact centre provides a toll-free number — 1-877-202-0008 — to report workplace health and safety incidents, critical injury, fatality, work refusal, unsafe work practices, or for general inquiries, the ministry said.

The number operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“With one number, Ontario is creating a more efficient and streamlined phone system for workplaces and the public to contact the ministry,” the ministry said.