Ontario will conduct a two-month enforcement blitz focusing on hazards that can arise when workers construct trenches for installation or repair of utilities or sewers.
In July and August, Ministry of Labour inspectors will visit various construction projects where trenches are being excavated across Ontario. Inspectors will check for hazards that could result in worker injuries or death. This includes checking that employers are taking appropriate action to assess and address these hazards and are complying with Ontario’s occupational health and safety laws.
In particular, inspectors will focus on:
•trench work notification to the Ministry of Labour
?•trench wall support
?•identification, location and marking of utilities before work is undertaken
•measures to prevent slips, trips and falls by workers.
“Hazards involving the building of trenches can lead to serious incidents at construction projects. People have died and others have been critically injured because proper precautions weren’t taken, and that is simply unacceptable," said Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn.
Between 2008 and 2014, 17 workers died and 42 workers were critically injured in trenching and excavation incidents at Ontario construction projects.
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