Ottawa, ON — Ontario-based construction sites might soon receive a visit from their friendly neighbourhood inspector.
Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development will be conducting inspection blitzes in the construction sector as part of its 2023-24 Construction Safety Campaigns.
The campaigns will focus on fall from heights in single-family residential and struck-by vehicles, equipment and material incidents, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), respiratory protection programs, and asbestos in building structures. Each campaign start on April 1 and will run until March 31, 2024.
Campaigns are determined using a risk-based process that considers injury, illness and fatality data; health and safety research; and feedback from system partners and inspectors. The ministry will be splitting up its 2023-24 safety campaigns into two phases.
The first phase will focus on education, outreach and awareness, reports the province. During this phase, the ministry will work with health and safety associations to raise awareness and provide resources, training and education to workplace parties (employers, labour associations and workers) on that initiative’s focus.
The ministry adds that “The goal is to give workplace parties tools and knowledge to comply with health and safety requirements. Workplaces can prepare and access resources or get help before the inspection campaign starts.”
Phase two is when the ministry will conduct its focused inspection blitz. Through each respective campaign, 100 inspectors will visit hundreds of job sites across the province each week. Inspectors will conduct field visits to check that employers comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA)and its regulations and to raise awareness about specific issues at the workplaces they are visiting.
Inspectors will focus on sectors where there’s been a history of violations, 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 conducted 3,414 field visits, visited 2,915 workplaces and issued 7,219 orders and requirements under the OHSA and its regulations, including 373 stop-work orders.