New and young workers in Ontario are three times more likely to be injured during their first month on the job than at any other time.
From May 1 to August 31, 2015, Ministry of Labour inspectors conducted a health and safety enforcement blitz in the industrial sector focusing on:
Inspectors checked that employers were complying with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations.
The goals of the blitz were to:
Between 2009 and 2014, 15 young workers aged 15 to 24 years were fatally injured in Ontario workplaces, according to Ministry of Labour statistics.
From May 1 to August 31, 2015, ministry inspectors conducted 3,396 visits to 2,704 workplaces and issued 11,470 orders under the OHSA and its regulations. This included 209 stop work orders. Some of the workplaces were visited several times.
On average, 3.38 orders were issued during each workplace visit.
Three frequently issued OHSA 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.
During the blitz, inspectors focused on workplaces where many new and young workers were employed, including:
The inspectors focused on the following requirements:
During the blitz, orders were issued for various violations under the:
Inspectors visited workplaces in various sectors.
|Rank||Sector||Orders Issued||Stop Work Orders Issued||Workplaces Visited||Field Visits|
|3||Wood & Metal Fabrication||976||23||144||187|
|4||Tourism, Hospitality & Recreational Services||743||16||155||210|
|5||Food, Beverage & Tobacco||727||7||186||230|
|6||Vehicle Sales & Service||670||11||125||158|
|9||Chemical, Rubber & Plastics||265||17||47||66|
Frequently issued OHSA orders involved employers’ failure to:
Of the total orders issued, 15 percent (1,718 orders) were issued under Part III.0.1 of the OHSA provisions for workplace violence and harassment. They involved a failure of employers to comply with requirements to:
As part of checking for worker training and appropriate supervision in workplaces, orders were issued under the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation for violations involving:
Orders were issued under the following sections of the Regulations for Industrial Establishments (among others):
The 209 stop work orders represented 1.85 per cent of all orders issued.
No orders were issued for failure to comply with minimum age requirements under the Regulations for Industrial Establishments.
The blitz found that retail, restaurant, and wood and metal fabrication workplaces (noted in Table 1 above) had the most orders of any sectors visited.
The blitz results indicate new and young workers continue to be exposed to many of the same hazards in workplaces across all sectors, regardless of the size of the workplace or nature of business. Continued enforcement is needed to improve the health and safety of all new and young workers in any sectors.
The ministry also needs to continue to target new worker safety during routine workplace inspections of Ontario's industrial workplaces. Inspectors will continue to check that new and young workers:
The ministry will continue to raise awareness of new and young workers’ health and safety in Ontario workplaces.
A key to workplace health and safety in Ontario is the IRS. One of the primary purposes of the OHSA is to facilitate a strong IRS in the workplace. The OHSA sets out the duties of workplace parties. Compliance by workplace parties with their respective statutory duties is essential to establishing and maintaining a strong IRS in the workplace.
Workplace parties are encouraged to work together to identify and control hazards involving new and young workers.
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.