Safety Blitz Targets Industrial Workplaces



    McGuinty Government Committed To Eliminating Workplace Injuries

    TORONTO, Oct. 27 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    As part of Ontario's ongoing efforts to help reduce workplace injuries,
inspectors will be "blitzing" industrial workplaces in November to help
eliminate specific electrical hazards that could lead to injuries or
fatalities.
    Inspectors will check to ensure the power supply to electrical equipment
is disconnected before work begins, written lockout procedures are available
for electrical equipment and workers are protected if no practical means
exists to disconnect the power.
    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.
(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.

    QUOTES

    "The McGuinty government and our workplace partners are working together
to eliminate all workplace injuries," said Labour Minister Peter Fonseca
(http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/about/mn_bio.html). "Part of our strategy
for achieving this goal is to conduct stepped-up enforcement to prevent
electrical hazards at workplaces."

    
    QUICK FACTS

    -  The Ministry of Labour compliance program that ran from April 1, 2004
       to March 31, 2008 reduced the workplace injury rate by 20 per cent, or
       more than 50,000 incidents.
    -  Since 1998, there were 69 workers killed, 263 critically injured and
       844 received more minor injuries as a result of electrical hazards.
    -  About 50 per cent of these incidents involved workers who were working
       on electrical equipment while it was energized.
    -  Because of the drop in the annual rate of lost-time injuries,
       employers have avoided about $5 billion in direct and indirect costs
       during the four years ending March 31, 2008. Reduced injuries also
       result in less strain on the health care system, and fewer workers off
       the job means increased productivity for Ontario's economy.
    -  Ontario employs 430 full-time occupational health and safety
       inspectors.

    LEARN MORE

    Read more about Ontario's new four year plan, Safe at Work Ontario
(http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/index.html), that will help strengthen
workplace safety.

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                                                      ontario.ca/labour-news
                                                      Disponible en français
    




For further information:

For further information: Susan McConnell, Minister's Office, (416)
326-7710; Bruce Skeaff, Communications Branch, (416) 326-7405

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