Ontario will focus on hazards in warehouses and storage areas during a blitz to keep workers safe on the job across the province.In February and March 2014, Ministry of Labour inspectors will visit warehouses and retail establishments. They will check that employers are taking appropriate action to assess and address possible hazards.
"Workers can be seriously injured or even die as a result of incidents involving warehouse hazards. We're working to improve the health and safety of workers in Ontario,” said George Gritziotis, chief prevention officer.
Warehouses are commercial buildings used to store goods, raw materials and other commodities.
The inspectors will check for compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations. In particular, they will check that employers are:
• properly maintaining and repairing racking and storage systems
• ensuring trucks and trailers are immobilized and secured to prevent accidental movement when workers are in the loading dock area
• maintaining lifting devices and forklifts in good condition to prevent mechanical or operational failure
• promoting safe work practices, including assessing risk of slip, trip and fall hazards and responding immediately to any hazards
• dealing with MSDs hazards from manual material handling.
Three workers died and 59 others received serious injuries as a result of incidents involving racking and storage between Jan. 1, 2006 and Dec. 31, 2012.
Inspectors have issued more than 560,000 compliance orders in Ontario workplaces.