Concrete companies use extra concrete to produce blocks of various dimensions. Some blocks are simply square or rectangular in shape, while others have additional physical attributes, such as connecting links, peaked tops and recessed bottoms, which are used to prevent relative horizontal movement between layers of blocks or adjacent blocks during the storage of material within the concrete walls. As these blocks are sometimes used to construct walls, the walls can vary in height depending on the number of blocks used. These blocks walls are used for bunkers and for material storage.
The locations and sectors that use outdoor bulk storage of materials where these concrete blocks may be used include landscaping and landscaping suppliers, recycling centers, construction yards, cement plants and yards, concrete block plants and farms.
In many sectors and cases, blocks are stacked on top of each other to add height to the storage areas. When materials are stored, loaded or unloaded in these storage areas, forces may be placed on the blocks which can cause them to move or collapse. A worker may be endangered if the concrete blocks were to move or collapse while he or she was in close proximity to them.
Workers may also be endangered when stacking the blocks to build the walls, as the blocks may tip and fall while the wall is being built. The blocks may also be too heavy for the lifting device being used causing overturning or failure of the device.
Most resulting injuries are crushing injuries or amputation of fingers, hands, arms and feet. Some injuries are fatal.
The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act applies to all provincially regulated workplaces and specific regulations apply to workplaces in specific sectors as well as workers and employers in those workplaces.
For more information contact:
or contact the Ministry of Labour Health & Safety Contact Centre.
This Hazard Alert has been prepared to assist the workplace parties in understanding their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the regulations. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations and reference should always be made to the official version of the legislation.
It is the responsibility of the workplace parties to ensure compliance with the legislation. This Hazard Alert does not constitute legal advice and no legal effect. If you require assistance with respect to the interpretation of the legislation and its potential application in specific circumstances, please contact your legal counsel.
While this Hazard Alert will also be available to Ministry of Labour inspectors, they will apply and enforce the OHSA and its regulations based upon the facts as they may find them in the workplace. This Hazard Alert does not affect their enforcement discretion in any way.
Remember that while complying with occupational health and safety laws, you are also required to comply with applicable environmental laws.
Please photocopy Ministry of Labour Alerts, distribute them widely and post them where people will see them.