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BACKGROUNDER

Winter Blitz to Focus on Construction Hazards


  • Issued: December 31, 2013
  • Content last reviewed: December 2013
  • See also: Bulletin | Construction

Ontario is launching a province-wide blitz in January 2014, targeting construction hazards at active workplaces.

The increased enforcement is part of the province's Safe At Work Ontario strategy, launched in June 2008.

Ministry of Labour inspectors will visit industrial, retail, municipal and educational workplaces that have submitted a Notice of Project for construction work to the ministry.

A Notice of Project must be submitted for major renovations, repairs, additions or other construction projects, including those valued at $50,000 or more.

Blitz Focus

Ministry inspectors will target workplaces where major construction projects are taking place. In particular, they will check workplaces:

  • Not previously visited by the ministry.
  • Where complaints have been received.
  • Where there is a history of non-compliance.
  • That have submitted a Notice of Project to the ministry.

Inspectors will take enforcement action, as appropriate, in response to any violation of Ontario's health and safety rules.

Priorities

Inspectors will focus on the following key priorities:

  • Noise exposure: Inspectors will check that constructors and employers are taking appropriate precautions to maintain noise levels within acceptable levels, as required.
  • Airborne substance exposure: Inspectors will check that construction workers and employers are taking appropriate precautions to protect workers from exposure to airborne substances, created by activities such as cutting, grinding and polishing materials.
  • Hazardous materials / designated substances: Inspectors will check that the Regulations for the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) are being followed when controlled products are used. This will include checking for supplier and workplace labels, availability of material safety data sheets and WHMIS training. Inspectors will also check that required controls are in place for designated substances.
  • Storage and movement of equipment and material: Inspectors will check that construction workers and employers are taking appropriate precautions to protect workers when equipment and materials are stored and moved. They will also check the effectiveness of the separation between the existing workplace and construction activities.
  • Personal protective equipment: Inspectors will check on the availability of personal protective equipment and that workers have been trained on its use and limitations.
  • Administrative issues: Inspectors will check that construction workers and employers have emergency contingency plans in place, and that those plans have been communicated to workers and others at the workplace.

Jonathan Rose, Minister's Office, 416-326-7709
Bruce Skeaff, Communications Branch, 416-326-7405

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