New, young worker blitz reveals lack of workplace violence policy common

The Ontario Ministry of Labour issued nearly 8,000 orders under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations during its most recent new and young worker safety blitz.
From May to August 2014, ministry inspectors conducted 2,560 visits to 2,049 workplaces and issued 7,941 orders. This included 156 stop work orders. Some of the workplaces were visited several times. On average, 3.9 orders were issued per workplace visit.

The most frequently issued OHSA orders involved employers’ failure to:

•assess the workplace for a risk of violence and to have a workplace violence and harassment policy in place (12.6 per cent)
•take reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of workers (7.2 per cent)
•post a copy of the OHSA in the workplace (6.7 per cent)
•maintain equipment in good condition (5.9 per cent)
•perform mandatory basic awareness training (4.4 per cent)
•prepare and review a health and safety policy and develop a program to
•implement that policy (three per cent)
•provide information, instruction and supervision to protect workers' health and safety (2.6 per cent)
•have a workplace health and safety representative at the workplace (2.4 per cent).

During the blitz, inspectors focused on workplaces where many new and young workers were employed, including the service sector, manufacturing, farming, tourism and municipalities.

The inspectors focused on orientation and training, internal responsibility system and safety measures.

Inspectors visited 29 farming operations workplaces and issued 52 orders. The farming operations visits represented 1.4 per cent of the total number of workplaces visited during the blitz. The orders represented 0.7 per cent of the total orders issued during the blitz and included one stop work order.

From 2009 to 2013, 15 young workers aged 15 to 24 died in work-related incidents in industrial and other sectors, according to Ministry of Labour statistics.