New and young workers in Ontario are four times more likely to be injured during their first month of employment than at any other time.
From May 1 to August 31, 2011, Ministry of Labour (MOL) inspectors conducted a workplace inspection blitz focusing on new and young workers in the industrial and health care sectors to enforce compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations.
The goal of the blitz was to check that new and young workers
MOL inspectors focused on workplaces where many new and young workers are employed, including the service sector, transportation, municipalities (e.g., parks and recreation), logging, farming operations wood and metal fabrication, long-term care homes, retirement homes; nursing homes and intensive support residences / supported group living residences (also known as "group homes").
Workplace incidents continue to kill and critically injure new and young Ontario workers.
Of the orders issued during this blitz under the industrial program, most related to:
From May 1 to August 31, 2011, MOL inspectors conducted 3,458 blitz-related visits to 2,847 industrial workplaces and issued 9,799 orders under the OHSA and its regulations, including 214 stop work orders.
Of the 9,799 orders issued in the industrial sector, 8,625 (88.0%) were time-based; 862 (8.8%) were orders for immediate compliance; 98 (1.0%) were orders for compliance plans; and 214 (2.2%) were stop-work orders.
Non-compliance noted by inspectors involved training, orientation and supervision, personal protective equipment, and the internal responsibility system.
The blitz provided an opportunity to reach large numbers of new and young workers, both skilled and unskilled.
From May 1 to August 31, 2011, MOL inspectors conducted 186 visits to 164 health care workplaces and issued 456 orders under the OHSA and its regulations, including four stop-work orders.
Of the 456 orders issued in Health Care sectors, 423 (92.8%) were time-based; 19 (4.2%) were orders for immediate compliance; eight (1.8%) were orders for compliance plans; and four (0.4%) were stop-work orders.
More than 85 of the orders involved violations of the Regulations for Health Care and Residential Facilities (O. Reg. 67/93).
Twelve of the orders involved violations of the Needle Safety Regulation (O. Reg. 474/07).
Ministry workplace inspection blitzes are part of the province's Safe At Work Ontario compliance strategy. Although the blitzes are announced in advance to the subject sectors, individual workplaces are not forewarned. Aggregate results are posted on the ministry's website. The blitzes raise awareness of known workplace hazards and are intended to promote compliance with the OHSA and its regulations.
Inspectors' findings may affect the frequency and level of future inspections of individual workplaces. Inspectors may refer employers to Health and Safety Associations for compliance assistance, education and training.
The four month blitz focused on two groups:
The goal was to ensure that:
Specific areas of focus in the industrial and health care sectors included:
The following are additional issues and hazards that MOL inspectors focused on in the health care sector:
During the new and young worker blitz, MOL inspectors issued orders at a rate of 3.8 orders per workplace visit – close to four times the rate typical for the industrial sector health and safety enforcement program.
MOL inspectors conducted 3,458 blitz-related visits to 2,847 industrial workplaces and issued 9,799 orders under the OHSA and its regulations, including 214 stop-work orders.
A wide range of workplaces and sub-sectors were visited, including:
|Industrial Sector New and Young Worker Blitz
May 1 to August 31, 2011
|Total Industrial Sector Enforcement Activity (including the blitz)
May 1 to August 31, 2011
|Number of workplaces visited||2,847||7,679|
|Total workplace visits||3,458||12,044|
|Orders (all types)||9,799||23,430|
|Orders per workplace visit||3.83||1.95|
|Stop-work orders per workplace visit||0.06||0.07|
During the new and young worker blitz, MOL inspectors issued orders at a rate of 2.45 orders per workplace visit – more than twice the rate typical for the health care sector health and safety enforcement program. The rate of stop-work orders per workplace visit during the blitz was almost twice the typical rate.
MOL inspectors conducted 186 workplace visits to 164 health care workplaces and issued 456 orders under the OHSA and its regulations, including four stop-work orders.
Inspectors visited a wide range of workplaces as part of this blitz, focusing on:
|Health Care Sector New and Young Worker Blitz
May 1 to August 31, 2011
|Total Health Care Sector Enforcement Activity (including the blitz)
May 1 to August 31, 2011
|Number of workplaces visited||164||582|
|Total workplace visits||186||925|
|Orders (all types)||456||1,341|
|Orders per workplace visit||2.45||1.45|
|Stop-work orders per workplace visit||0.02||0.01|
The following is a breakdown of inspection activity in the industrial sector for the two focus groups of the blitz:
The top 10 most frequently issued orders in the industrial sector related to failure to:
Orders were issued under Ontario Regulation 851/90 for industrial establishments for the following sections:
Orders were also issued under WHMIS regulation 860/90 and under the designated substance regulation.
No orders were issued for minimum-age requirements under section 4 of the Industrial Regulation 851/90.
This chart lists the 10 industrial sub-sectors receiving the most orders during the blitz:
|Tourism, Hospitality & Recreational Services||1,136|
|Food, Beverage & Tobacco||688|
|Vehicle Sales & Service||606|
|Wood & Metal Fabrication||565|
|Offices & Related Services||201|
The chart below shows the 10 sub-sectors visited most frequently by inspectors during this blitz and the number of workplace visits in each sub-sector:
|Tourism, Hospitality & Recreational Services||346|
|Wood & Metal Fabrication||257|
|Vehicle Sales & Service||188|
|Food, Beverage & Tobacco||187|
|Offices & Related Services||97|
The following is a breakdown of inspection activity in the health care sector for the two focus groups of the blitz:
Of the seven sub-sectors covered by the MOL's Health Care Health and Safety Program during this blitz MOL inspectors issued the most orders in the following three sub-sectors:
|Homes for Residential Care||79|
|Professional Offices & Agencies||72|
|Treatment Clinics & Specialized Services||24|
There were 86 orders issued under the Regulations for Health Care and Residential Facilities (O. Reg. 67/93). Of these, the five most frequent orders related to:
Twelve orders were issued under the Needle Safety Regulation (O. Reg. 474/07). All the orders related to failure to comply with the requirements for the provision of safety-engineered needles. Section 3 of the Needle Safety Regulation stipulates that when a worker is required to use a hollow-bore needle, the employer shall provide the worker with a safety-engineered needle that is appropriate for the work (O. Reg. 474/07, s. 3 (1)).
The highest percentage of orders issued in the industrial sector related to:
Many new and young workers are employed on a seasonal or casual basis. The results of this blitz demonstrate a need for MOL inspectors to continue to focus on whether these workers are familiar with the OHSA and whether they are receiving the required information, instruction and supervision in order to protect their health and safety and to make them aware of hazards associated with their work.
The highest percentage of orders issued (17%) was for hazards associated with work done by new and young workers in Homes for Residential Care. This indicates that the MOL needs to continue to focus on enforcement, education and partnership activities within this sub-sector to ensure the ongoing health and safety of new and young workers is protected.
There is a need to emphasize the use of safety-engineered needles or needle-less systems to replace hollow-bore needles in order to protect new and young workers from needlestick injuries in the Health Care Sector.
The orders issued most frequently were under the Regulations for Health Care and Residential Facilities (O. Reg. 67/93), section 9. This indicates that improvements are needed in workplaces to which this regulation applies with respect to:
During routine workplace inspections, the ministry will continue to focus on the hazards related to new and young workers.
A key to workplace health and safety in Ontario is the Internal Responsibility System (IRS). Employers, supervisors, workers, their health and safety associations, MOL and the WSIB all have key roles to play in ensuring health and safety in the workplace and eliminating workplace injuries and deaths.
New and young workers are a key part of the ministry's inspection focus at industrial and health care workplaces. The ministry will continue to work with its occupational health and safety partners (particularly with respect to this vulnerable group) to:
Workplace parties are encouraged to work together to identify and control hazards related to workplace involving new and young workers. Employers are required to comply with a range of duties in respect of all workers, such as instructing, training and supervising workers in order to protect their health and safety and making them aware of the associated workplace hazards.
For more information on identifying, preventing and controlling workplace hazards, please contact the Ministry of Labour's health and safety partners.