Note: Although workplace inspection blitzes by the ministry are announced to the appropriate sectors in advance, individual workplaces receive no prior warning.
Throughout February, 2010, the Ministry of Labour (MOL) conducted a province-wide, workplace health and safety inspection blitz that focused mainly — but not exclusively — on 11 industrial sub-sectors:
During the forklift and lifting devices blitz, inspectors issued orders at 1.7 times the typical rate for the industrial sector health and safety enforcement program. Stop work orders were issued at 1.5 times the regular program rate.
|Industrial sector falls prevention blitz activity during
|Total industrial sector inspection activity
April 1, 2009 to February 28, 2010
|Workplace visits to all sub-sectors||1,844||38,207|
|Orders (all types) ||4,942||61,741|
|Order per workplace visit||2.7||1.62|
|Stop work orders per workplace visit||0.08||0.05|
 Including stop-work orders.
|"Industrial" subsector||Workplace visits||Orders (all types)||Stop-work orders||Tickets|
|Vehicle Sales and Services||372||1,176||9|
|Wood and Metal Fabrication||275||685||27||2|
|Chemical Rubber and Plastics||107||255||12||1|
The following analysis is based on the total orders issued during the blitz in all industrial sub-sectors.
About 63 per cent of all orders issued related to the three key priorities of this year’s forklift blitz. These were:
The highest number of orders were issued to employers for violations related to examination of a lifting device to determine its capability of handling the maximum load under OHSA Section 51(1)(b). This represented more than 23 per cent (1,160) of all of the orders issued (4,942) during the blitz.
Another nine per cent (448) of the orders related to maintenance of lifting devices and another five per cent (243) involved the general duty clause under OHSA Section 25(2)(h).
Other orders issued during the blitz included:
All of the sectors focused on during the blitz received orders. This indicated these sectors were correctly identified.
The top three sectors – vehicle sales & service, retail and wood & metal fabrication – had the highest number of field visits and the highest number of orders issued. The orders issued for these sectors – 2,592 – represented more than 52 per cent of all orders.
The ministry announces inspection blitzes in advance to the media and targeted sectors and posts the announcement and blitz results on the ministry’s website. The blitzes raise awareness of known workplace hazards and promote compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its safety regulations.
Inspection blitzes are part of the province’s Safe At Work Ontario compliance strategy. In selecting workplaces for proactive inspections, the ministry uses predictive indicators such as inherent hazards and poor records of compliance with safety regulations.
Inspectors’ findings determine their subsequent level of engagement and frequency of inspections of individual workplaces. Inspectors often refer employers to Health and Safety Associations for compliance assistance and training.
The results of this blitz support the ministry’s zero tolerance for inattention to forklift and lifting device hazards in the workplace. Because of the results of this and a blitz held in 2009, the ministry will include forklift and lifting device hazards as a focus of an enhanced enforcement initiative planned for 2010–11.
The ministry will continue to work with its partners through industrial sector interagency groups.
The ministry will continue to watch for hazards related to this blitz during routine workplace inspections.