Ontario government increases workplace safety enforcement in residential construction

0 58 OH&S

by Journal Of Commerce

The Government of Ontario announced the Ministry of Labour will increase the enforcement of the Occupational Health and Safety Act at home building project sites. Its priorities for the May safety blitz include protection from falls, knowledge of equipment, material safety data sheets, proper protection from hazardous materials and protection from cave-ins.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour says it will increase the enforcement of the Occupational Health and Safety Act at home building project sites this month.

The province says its inspectors aim to ensure workers are trained and supervised, using proper safety measures and properly protected from any on-site hazards such as trench or excavation cave-ins.

It announced Monday a safety blitz will take place in May.

The provincial government stated that the homebuilding industry is the main source of construction industry injuries. From 2006 until 2010, 26 workers died and 329 were critically injured at low-rise residential construction sites.

Common injuries included falls, being struck by objects and overexertion.

The labour ministry said exposure to toxic chemicals is also a problem.

During the May safety blitz, inspectors will check to ensure workers are trained in the safe use of hazardous materials, that material safety data sheets are up to date and that workers are using proper personal protective equipment.

They will also check to ensure proper hearing protection is used and workers are trained in the use and maintenance of vehicles, machinery, tools and equipment, such as ramps, stairs, ladders, scaffolds, work platforms and powered elevating work platforms.

Other priorities will include site excavations and trenching. The province noted workers should be protected against trench or excavation cave-ins and other hazards through the use of sloping, shoring or prefabricated support systems such as trench boxes and shields.

Concrete form-setting is also a concern for the province, which stated workers must be properly trained in the design, set-up, building and inspection of foundation and basement construction.


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