Safety Blitzes Target Workplace Hazards



    McGuinty Government Committed To Eliminating Workplace Injuries

    TORONTO, July 23 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    Inspectors are now "blitzing" Ontario's workplaces to help eliminate
specific hazards to health and safety.
    Ministry of Labour inspectors are concentrating on workplaces with
workers aged 24 and under as well as those employing workers of any age who
are new to their jobs. As part of the on-going series of "blitzes," inspectors
will also be checking construction sites for electrical hazards.
    The inspections and the special "blitzes" are an important aspect of the
province's new four year plan - Safe At Work Ontario, launched in June.
    Safe At Work Ontario allows inspectors more flexibility to conduct
pro-active checks of workplaces with a higher-than-average potential for
injuries. Among the risk factors are injury rates and associated costs, a
company's workplace safety compliance history, and the presence of young
workers.
    Future health and safety inspections will focus on the following sectors:

    
    -   In August, demolition sites
    -   In September, inspectors will start to concentrate on industrial
        workplace hazards that can cause workers to fall
    -   In November, inspectors will focus on electrical hazards in
        industrial workplaces
    -   Early next year, inspectors will conduct special checks on industrial
        sector forklift operations and on construction site conditions that
        could cause workers to be struck by equipment.
    

    This new plan provides a more effective means of preventing workplace
injuries, which reduces the high monetary costs (in addition to the human
costs) associated with workplace injuries, resulting in increased productivity
to the Ontario economy.

    QUOTES

    "The McGuinty government and its workplace partners are committed to
eliminating all workplace injuries," said Labour Minister Brad Duguid
(http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/about/mn_bio.html). "The 'blitz' approach
adds bite to our bark. Workers have a right to come home each day to their
families, safe and sound."

    "As a key workplace health and safety partner," said Maureen Shaw,
President and CEO of the Industrial Accident Prevention Association, "IAPA
supports and applauds Ontario's determination to improve protection for
workers and create safe and healthy workplaces throughout the province."

    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.
    -   Because of this 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.
    -   In 2007, 20 per cent of construction sector fatalities were related
        to electrical hazards.
    -   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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