Ontario Safety Blitz Targets Industrial Workplaces

As part of Ontario's efforts to help reduce workplace injuries, inspectors will be "blitzing" industrial workplaces throughout the month to help eliminate specific hazards that could lead to falls.

Inspectors will look for fall hazards at heights, such as on any platform, raised floor, mezzanine or ladder. This will include checking for fall arrest equipment, guardrails and the use of inappropriate procedures such as climbing up shelving or working on storage racks. They also will check for proper use of portable, extension and step ladders.

For each violation, the court can impose a fine of up to $500,000 against a corporation convicted under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90o01_e.htm). Individuals face a fine of up to $25,000 or imprisonment of up to 12 months, or both.

This initiative is part of the province's new Safe At Work Ontario blitz strategy (http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/news/2008/08-63.html), announced on July 23, 2008. Keeping more workers safe means increased productivity for Ontario's economy and less strain on the health care system.

"Falls are a leading cause of workplace injuries and fatalities," said Labour Minister Brad Duguid. "The McGuinty government and our workplace partners are working together to eliminate all workplace injuries. Blitzing industrial workplaces to prevent slips and falls will help us take a step closer to achieving our goal."

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