Workers continue to be at risk of slips, trips and falls.
From February 2 to March 15, 2015, Ministry of Labour inspectors conducted an enforcement blitz at industrial workplaces in Ontario. They focused on hazards involving slips, trips and falls.
Inspectors visited a range of industrial workplaces. The inspectors checked that employers were properly assessing and addressing hazards that could cause workers to slip, trip or fall, as required by the:
The goals of this blitz were to:
In 2013, there were 11 work-related deaths from falls in industrial workplaces.
In that same year, just over 70 per cent of fall-related injuries in all sectors were due to “same level falls” (falls on floors and other surfaces) in Ontario. Falls from heights accounted for almost 29 per cent of fall-related injuries and many of the work-related deaths in Ontario.
In 2013, 11,814 workers in Ontario workplaces had compensation claims approved by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) for missing time at work due to incidents involving falls.
From February 2 to March 15, 2015, ministry inspectors conducted 1,084 visits to 946 workplaces and issued 3,603 orders under the OHSA and its regulations. This included 65 stop work orders. Some of the workplaces were visited several times.
As of June 9, 2015, more than 85 per cent of the orders issued during the blitz were complied with.
The top three most frequently issued orders involved employers’ failure to:
Inspection blitzes are part of the province's Safe At Work Ontario compliance strategy. They are announced to the sector by the ministry in advance, although individual workplaces to be visited by inspectors are not identified in advance. 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 impact the frequency and level of future inspections of individual workplaces. Inspectors may also refer employers to health and safety associations for compliance assistance and training.
Industrial inspectors visited a range of workplaces, including:
In particular, inspectors targeted workplaces:
Inspectors focused on the following key priorities:
From February 2 to March 15, 2015, inspectors conducted 1,084 visits to 946 workplaces and issued 3,603 orders under the OHSA and its regulations. This included 65 stop work orders.
On average, 3.32 orders were issued per workplace visit.
|Stop work orders||65|
|Average orders per workplace visit||3.32|
The orders were issued for various violations under the:
Inspectors visited workplaces in various sectors. See Table 2 below for the top 10 sectors ranked by orders and workplaces visited.
|Sector||Orders Issued||Stop Work
|Wood & Metal Fabrication||366||16||7||70|
|Vehicle Sales & Service||311||8||5||73|
|Food, Beverage & Tobacco||177||1||2||48|
|Tourism, Hospitality & Recreational Services||109||1||2||24|
|Chemical, Rubber & Plastics||83||0||0||24|
|Reason for Order||Number of Orders||Percentage of Total Orders Issued|
|Failure to keep a floor or other work surface free of obstructions, hazards and accumulation of refuse, snow or ice [Industrial Reg. S. 11]||239||6.63%|
|Failure to maintain equipment, materials and protective devices in good condition [OHSA S. 25 (1)(b)]||238||6.61%|
|Failure to ensure a worker completes a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program [Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Reg. S. 1]||217||6.02%|
|Failure to post a copy of the OHSA and explanatory material [OHSA S. 25 (2)(i)]||212||5.88%|
|Failure to ensure a supervisor completes a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program [Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Reg. S. 2]||151||4.19%|
|Failure to ensure lifting device safety (i.e. inspection, operation, maximum-rated load) [Industrial Reg. S. 51]||141||3.91%|
|Failure to prepare and review at least annually a written occupational health and safety policy and develop and maintain a program [OHSA S. 25(2)(j)]||134||3.72%|
|Failure to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances [OHSA S. 25 (2)(h)]||119||3.30%|
|Failure to ensure Material Safety Data Sheets are available and maintained [WHMIS Reg. S. 17]||101||2.80%|
|Failure to ensure there is a health and safety representative [OHSA S. 8(1)]||97||2.0%|
The 65 stop work orders represented less than two per cent of all orders issued.
Of the 3,603 orders issued, 471 orders or 13.07 per cent were issued under Part III.0.1 of the OHSA provisions for workplace violence and harassment. They involved failure of employers to comply with requirements to:
To prevent slips, trips and falls, increased attention must be given in all workplaces to keeping floors and other work surfaces clear of hazards.
Workplaces may be better able to identify and control hazards when they provide workers and supervisors with required mandatory basic occupational health and safety training.
Employers need to continue to take every reasonable precaution in the circumstances to protect workers from hazards that can result in slips, trips and falls.
The ministry will continue to raise awareness of slips, trips and falls in Ontario workplaces.
A key to workplace health and safety in Ontario is the internal responsibility system (IRS).
One of the primary purposes of the OHSA is to facilitate a strong IRS in the workplace. To this end, the OHSA lays out the duties of employers, supervisors, workers, constructors and workplace owners. To establish a strong IRS in the workplace, workplace parties must comply with their respective statutory duties.
Everyone – employers, supervisors, workers, health and safety associations and the government – has a key role to play in taking responsibility for health and safety in the workplace. This is essential to preventing injuries and deaths.
Workplace parties are encouraged to work together to identify and control hazards that can result in slips, trips and falls.
Please contact our safety partners for more information on identifying, preventing and controlling these hazards.
View health and safety awareness products and training for workplace parties.
Visit the ministry’s Stop Falls resources.