McGuinty Government Completes Hiring Of New Inspectors

    Health And Safety Inspectors Will Help Improve Workplace Safety

    TORONTO, April 17 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government has fulfilled its
commitment to make workplaces safer by hiring 200 new occupational health and
safety inspectors, nearly doubling their ranks, Labour Minister Steve Peters
said today.
    "We are investing in a safer, more prosperous future for Ontario by
significantly increasing staff to target workplaces with poor health and
safety records," said Peters at the graduation ceremony for the final 28
inspectors to go to work.
    "We are on target to cut workplace injuries by 20 per cent by 2008. This
will result in less pain and suffering, a reduced burden on the health care
system, cost avoidance for employers and the Workplace Safety and Insurance
Board and a level playing field for safe companies."
    The government has hired health and safety inspectors to work in a
variety of sectors, including: construction, industrial, mining, mining
electrical/mechanical and health care. The new inspectors will help the
government target 6,000 high-risk workplaces, those with the highest lost-time
injury rates and higher-than-average costs in claims to the Workplace Safety
and Insurance Board.
    During inspections, they will focus on identifying workplace hazards to
help these firms reduce on-the-job injuries.
    The hirings complete a government commitment made in 2004.
    "We have made a major investment in workplace safety," said Peters.
"Increased enforcement is part of our plan to strengthen our province by
improving the health and safety of Ontarians."

    Disponible en français




    Marking a major expansion of its health and safety enforcement staff, the
Ontario government has hired and trained 200 new health and safety inspectors
to help achieve its goal of preventing 20,000 workplace injuries a year by
2008. The last 28 graduated today and will soon begin work.
    With the addition of the new inspectors, the government now has 430
health and safety inspectors on staff.
    Inspectors are the front line of occupational health and safety
enforcement. The government took steps to ensure the most qualified candidates
were selected to fill these positions. Recruits received three months of
in-class training, including instruction in Occupational Health and Safety Act
(OHSA) enforcement, regulations governing Ontario's construction and
industrial sectors, Workplace Hazardous Material Information System
enforcement, the ministry's Code of Professionalism and the operational
policies and procedures required to effectively enforce the law. On-the-job
and field training continues for another six months.
    The new inspectors allow the government to target 6,000 workplaces with
the highest lost-time injury rates. Inspectors visit these sites four times a
year, focusing on workplace hazards to help firms reduce on-the-job injuries.

    Duties of a Ministry of Labour health and safety inspector

    Ministry of Labour health and safety inspectors enforce the OHSA and its
regulations. They conduct workplace inspections and carry out investigations
of workplace incidents such as injuries, fatalities, complaints, work refusals
and allegations of reprisals. Inspectors have authority to enter workplaces to
conduct inspections or investigations.
    Depending on the circumstances, health and safety inspectors have options
to ensure compliance with the OHSA, including issuing an order to comply,
issuing a stop work order that stops a process or the use of a machine until
the contravention is corrected and issuing tickets for certain contraventions.
    An inspector can also commence a prosecution under Part III of the
Provincial Offences Act. The maximum penalty if convicted of violating the
OHSA is a fine of $500,000 for a corporation, and $25,000 and/or 12 months in
jail for an individual.

    For further information:

    Media enquiries:
    Belinda Sutton
    Ministry of Labour

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Public enquiries: 1-888-429-3475; Media
enquiries: Susan McConnell, Minister's Office, (416) 326-7710; Belinda Sutton,
Ministry of Labour, (416) 326-7405

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