Ontario to launch material handling hazards safety blitz

The Ontario government is set to launch a province-wide workplace safety blitz targeting hazards involving material handling.

Ministry of Labour inspectors will be visiting factories, plants and other industrial sector workplaces. Material handling includes loading, unloading, storage and movement of goods and supplies.

"The safety of workers in Ontario is our top priority,” said Kevin Flynn from the MOL. “Blitzes such as this one ensure that we continue to do what we can to prevent injuries and deaths so men and women get home safely to their families each and every night."

The goal is to ensure employers are taking appropriate action to assess and address possible hazards and that the workplaces are in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations.

The ministry will be checking that employers:
• Have well-maintained lift-trucks and other lifting devices rated for their loads
• Are providing workers with safe access to work areas
• Are ensuring workers perform tasks safely to prevent falls
• Are ensuring mobile/transport equipment is appropriate for use and well-maintained
• Ensure materials (i.e. equipment, products and supplies) are stored in a safe manner
• Have a well-functioning internal responsibility system in place
• Ensure workers are properly trained and supervised

"Workers can be seriously injured or even die as a result of incidents involving material handling,” said Chief Prevention Officer George Gritziotis. “We're working to improve the health and safety of workers in Ontario."

The blitz begins Sept. 15 and will run through Oct. 26.