TORONTO — Hundreds of inspectors across the province will soon be visiting manufacturing operations and farms to ensure that they are in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The safety campaign began May 1 and will last until March 2024. Inspectors could arrive on your farm unannounced.
The Ontario government’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development launched the campaign that will include focusing on material handling in manufacturing and farming sectors. The Ministry of Labour noted that it conducts “thousands of proactive visits each year, including our compliance campaigns. Last year, ministry inspectors conducted over 67,800 field visits, including nearly 36,000 proactive visits, and issued over 98,900 orders.”
Inspectors are focusing on material handling, as it is a significant cause of workplace injuries and fatalities. Common concerns with material handling include lifting devices like forklifts, mobile equipment, cranes, conveyor belt, workplace layout and design, manual material handling, storage systems, automation, and machine guarding, blocking and lockout, the Ministry of Labour says.
Inspectors will conduct field visits to check that employers comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) and to raise awareness about specific safety issues.
Inspectors will focus on sectors where there’s been a history of violations, where there are vulnerable workers, such as new and young workers, temporary foreign workers and workers in non-standard or precarious work, and sectors where the number of people working is on the rise.
During its 2019 campaign, the ministry visited 2,915 workplaces and issued 7,219 orders and requirements, including 373 stop-work orders.