Ministry of Labour Inspection Blitzes

 

2014/2015 Blitz Schedule

 

Focus

Date

New and Young Worker

Have you hired summer students or seasonal workers? Or moved staff to unfamiliar positions? Then your workplace may be visited by a Ministry of Labour inspector during the May to August blitz. Inspectors will be looking for adequate training, orientation and supervision; joint health & safety committee / health & safety representative; safety measures and procedures.

 

May to August 2015

Material Handling

Handling materials shouldn’t cause injuries or fatalities. Nor should it be a back-breaking job. Recently, an employer was fined $70,000 for failing to protect the health and safety of a worker who was pinned between a hand cart and a forklift.* This critical injury could have been avoided by providing information, instruction and supervision to the worker. Ministry of Labour inspectors will visit workplaces during September and October to ensure that every reasonable precaution is taken by the employer for the protection of workers who handle machinery, equipment or materials. * Source: Ministry of Labour Court Bulletin, June 24, 2014.

 

September 14 - October 23, 2015

Safe Operation of Machinery

Employees work with machines, tools and equipment every day. Workplaces couldn't operate without them; however, interacting with them has potential for serious injuries or fatalities if they are not used and maintained properly.

January 18 - February 26, 2016

What you can do

  • Be proactive: identify the hazards in your workplace that can cause injury or illness and establish a plan for how these hazards will be managed
  • Get some help from your health and safety association to find out what training you need to ensure compliance before the inspector arrives
  • Perform your own workplace audit
  • Make your employees aware of the hazards
  • Have a well-documented health and safety program visibly in place, and implement hazard-related strategies, tools and training
  • Correct any deficiencies identified by a Ministry of Labour inspector
  • Work collaboratively with the inspector
 

Working at Heights Training: Construction Projects 

As of April 1, 2015, certain workers will need to complete a working at heights training program that has been approved by the Chief Prevention Officer before they can work at heights.

The new training will need to be completed by workers on construction projects who are required by O. Reg. 213/91 (Construction Projects) to use any of the following methods of fall protection: a travel restraint system, a fall restricting system, a fall arrest system, a safety net, a work belt, or a safety belt.

The minimum duration of this training is 6.5 hours and it includes hands-on practical training

Transition Period

If a worker has completed training before April 1, 2015 that met the requirements of section 26.2 of O. Reg. 213/91 (Construction Projects), that worker will have until April 1, 2017 to complete an approved working at heights training program that is delivered by an approved training provider.

There is a two year transition period for workers who already meet the existing fall protection training requirements set out in section 26.2 of the Construction Regulation. These workers will have until April 1, 2017 to complete an approved working at heights training program

It is anticipated that training programs and providers will be approved beginning March 2015.

The amendments also require that the training must be delivered by a working at heights training provider who has been approved by the CPO as having met the Working at Heights Training Provider Standard.

The training, once completed, is valid for three years. Workers must successfully complete a half-day refresher course to revalidate. The CPO will issue a standardized proof of completion wallet card. 



The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), Canada’s national hazard communication standard, is changing to incorporate the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) – an internationally recognized standard for hazard classification and communication. 


Hazardous Products Regulations were published in Part II of the Canada Gazette on Wednesday, February 11, 2015.

The new WHMIS, called “WHMIS 2015”, is based on the new requirements contained in the Hazardous Products Regulations and Hazardous Products Act, as amended in 2014.

The original WHMIS, which remained virtually unchanged since 1988, is not being replaced but rather updated to align as closely as possible with the United States Hazard Communication Standard (2012).  

The Government of Canada expects WHMIS 2015 to help strengthen worker health and safety, facilitate trade with the United States, and enhance the competitiveness of Canadian suppliers of workplace chemicals.

While WHMIS 2015 includes new harmonized criteria for hazard classification and requirements for labels and safety data sheets, the roles and responsibilities for suppliers, employers and workers have not changed. Health Canada and the federal, provincial and territorial occupational health and safety agencies will also retain the same roles and responsibilities established with WHMIS 1988.

A multi-phase transition period provides time to adapt to the regulatory changes.  At the outset, manufacturers, importers and distributors of hazardous chemicals can comply with either the original WHMIS 1988 or the newly revised WHMIS 2015, incorporating the GHS.  

Health Canada has worked in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) to develop and release helpful resources about WHMIS 2015.  By visiting the CCOHS website, you may register and freely view fact sheets and e-courses entitled “WHMIS after GHS: An Introduction”, “WHMIS after GHS: How Suppliers Can Prepare”, and “WHMIS (After GHS) for Workers”.

 

Information may also be found on Health Canada’s website at WHMIS.gc.ca or at a new, nationally coordinated information portal WHMIS.org.

 

In addition, Health Canada has produced some awareness materials, which you may wish to use to raise awareness within your organizations. To obtain these materials, please contact Health Canada at either 1-855-407-2665 or via email to whmis_simdut@hc-sc.gc.ca


 

New Safety Training Standard for Working at Heights

Ontario Committed to Preventing Workplace Injuries in the Construction Sector

  • Issued: December 19, 2013
  • Content last reviewed: July 2014
  • Revised: July 18, 2014

Ontario is implementing a new workplace training standard to prevent falls and improve safety for workers who work at heights.

The standard will initially be voluntary and will apply to workplaces in the construction sector, as well as to construction activity in other workplaces.

Training programs designed to meet this new standard will improve knowledge about fall hazards and safety practices, including:

  • proper inspection of equipment for damage
  • procedures for setting up, relocating or removing protective equipment, such as guardrails
  • demonstrations and hands-on training on fall-arrest equipment and other devices to keep workers safe
  • information on workplace protections and worker's rights

The new standard builds on existing protections in place for those working at heights, establishing a consistent and high quality level of training for workers across the province. It was developed with input from across various sectors that included business, organized labour, health and safety organizations, and other experts.