Inspectors will focus on personal protective equipment
Ontario workplace inspectors are launching a four-week long safety blitz on construction sites with a focus on personal protective equipment, the government announced in a media release.
The goal is to improve worker health and safety by helping employers comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations.
"We're doing this to save lives," said Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development. "One death on a job site is one too many. I want everyone in this province to know we're doing our best to ensure that their loved ones come home safe after a hard day's work."
Inspectors will focus on personal protective equipment, including high visibility clothing, skin protection (such as gloves), face shields, eye protection and hearing protectors. This equipment ensures workers’ safety, and without them, construction workers can sustain cuts, punctures, chemical burns, electric shocks and exposure to excessive noise or vibration, for example.
In addition to construction sites, inspectors will also visit roadwork projects.
"Everyone has a role here," said McNaughton. "Employers have to provide equipment to their workers and workers have to wear it properly."
The blitz runs until March 13 and is part of the government’s Safe At Work Ontario strategy. It follows a four-week outreach campaign to educate and assist construction sites in safety compliance.
Between Jan. 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2017, the ministry issued 7,483 orders for lack of personal protective equipment on projects, the second-highest number of OHSA violations in construction workplaces in 2017.
In 2016, 25 per cent of Ontario workers in the construction industry felt their workplace was not safe during the previous 12 months, compared to 19 per cent across all sectors, according to a recent survey.