Summer safety inspections target workplace hazards in Ontario

Focus on tower and mobile cranes, mining pits and quarries

Ontario will perform safety blitzes of construction sites and surface mines across Ontario this summer.

In July and August, inspectors from the Ministry of Labour will visit construction sites and check for hazards involving tower and mobile cranes that could result in injury or death to workers as well as the public. Inspectors will also target activities involving the transportation of stone, sand, gravel and other raw materials at mining pits and quarries.

During the blitzes, inspectors will check on the maintenance of equipment, worker training, the use of safety equipment and other potential health and safety hazards to help prevent workplace injuries.

Between 2007 and 2011, one worker died and seven workers were seriously injured in tower and mobile crane incidents at construction sites across Ontario. Since 2000, 10 workers have died and 61 workers were seriously injured in pits and quarries in Ontario, said the government.

"The health and safety of Ontario workers is a priority of our government. For their sake and their families, we want to make sure every employer, employee and supervisor is well aware of the hazards of working in pits and quarries and at construction sites, and knows how to avoid them,” said Linda Jeffrey, minister of labour.

The blitzes are part of Ontario's enforcement strategy to increase compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations. The blitzes are also targeting new and young workers, temporary help agencies and construction traffic.

Since 2008, ministry inspectors have conducted more than 266,000 field visits, 36 inspection blitzes and issued more than 426,000 compliance orders in Ontario workplaces.

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