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Ontario safety blitz targets new, young workers

By COS staff
| www.cos-mag.com

Inspectors are now "blitzing" Ontario's workplaces to help eliminate specific hazards to health and safety, targeting workplace with employees aged 24 and under as well as those new to their jobs, according to a statement from the Ministry of Labour.Inspectors are now

"blitzing" Ontario's workplaces

to help eliminate specific hazards to health and safety, targeting workplace with

employees aged 24 and under

as well as those new to their jobs, according to a statement from the Ministry of Labour.

As part of the on-going series of inspections, ministry inspectors will also be

checking construction sites

for electrical hazards. In 2007, 20 per cent of construction sector fatalities were related to

electrical hazards.

   

The inspections and the special blitzes form part of the province's new four-year plan dubbed, Safe At Work Ontario, which was launched in June. Ontario employs 430 full-time occupational health and safety inspectors.

   

Safe At Work Ontario allows inspectors more flexibility to conduct proactive checks of workplaces with a higher-than-average potential for injuries. Among the risk factors are injury rates and associated costs, a company's workplace safety compliance history, and the presence of young workers.

   

Future health and safety inspections will focus on the following sectors:

    -   In August, demolition sites

    -   In September, inspectors will start to concentrate on industrial

        workplace hazards that can cause workers to fall

    -   In November, inspectors will focus on electrical hazards in

        industrial workplaces

    -   Early next year, inspectors will conduct special checks on industrial

        sector forklift operations and on construction site conditions that

        could cause workers to be struck by equipment.

This new plan provides a more effective means of preventing workplace injuries, which reduces the high monetary costs, in addition to the human costs, associated with workplace injuries, resulting in increased productivity to the Ontario economy, the ministry said.

"The McGuinty government and its workplace partners are committed to eliminating all workplace injuries," said Labour Minister Brad Duguid. “The 'blitz' approach adds bite to our bark. Workers have a right to come home each day to their families, safe and sound."

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