Toronto, ON — A new recruitment campaign by the Ontario government aims to increase the team of frontline health and safety inspectors by 98. With these new hires, there will be more labour inspectors on the ground than ever before in the province’s history.
Inspectors are provincial offences officers designated under the Provincial Offences Act and are appointed as inspectors under Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Between March 11 and September 8, 2020, Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development inspectors conducted 19,411 inspections and investigations related to Covid-19 and issued 16,520 orders while on those visits.
“Our government is taking the steps necessary to protect Ontario workers on the job and keep our economy on the road to full recovery,” said minister of labour, training and skills development Monte McNaughton.
“By adding more inspectors to our team, we can respond faster to situations as they arise and help make sure that every office, plant, store and job site in this province is safe, during Covid-19 and beyond.”
The hiring of these new workers will see the number of active inspectors in the province increase from 409 to 507, an increase of 24 percent. Training is set to begin later this fall.
The new inspectors will play a key role in protecting workers by checking and enforcing that workplaces are following occupational health and safety legislation. They will have broad powers to:
- inspect any workplace and ensure they have Covid protections in place;
- investigate any potentially hazardous situation, critical injury, fatality and work refusal;
- order compliance with the legislation;
- stop unsafe work from being performed; and
- recommend and initiate prosecutions.
The full-year cost for the new inspectors will be $11.6 million. Recruitment of the inspectors began early this month. Applicants will have one month to apply.
“Nothing is more important than protecting the health and safety of our workers,” said Minister McNaughton. “By building the largest labour inspectorate in history, we’re in the best position to do just that.”