Ontario Safety Blitz Targets Construction Sites

Ontario will crack down on hazards involving construction equipment and materials handling at construction sites in March.

During the safety "blitz," inspectors will pay particular attention to conditions that could result in workers being struck -- or trapped and crushed -- by moving equipment or improperly secured building materials. For each conviction, the court can impose a fine of up to $500,000 against a corporation convicted under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. 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 Safe At Work Ontario blitz strategy (http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/news/2008/08-63.html), announced in June 2008.

"There is no excuse for construction workers being injured by moving equipment or shifting materials," said Labour Minister Peter Fonseca. "Ontario and its workplace partners are committed to eliminating all workplace injuries, including those related to construction equipment. Workers have a right to come home each day to their families, safe and sound."

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