Safety Blitz Targets Industrial Workplaces

    McGuinty Government Committed To Eliminating Workplace Injuries

    TORONTO, Aug. 28 /CNW/ -


    As part of Ontario's ongoing efforts to help reduce workplace injuries,
inspectors will be "blitzing" industrial workplaces over the next 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 will also 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
. 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 (, 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."


    -   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.
    -   Twenty per cent of workplace injuries are caused by slips, trips and
        falls. Twenty-seven per cent of the fatalities reported in industrial
        workplaces are the result of falls.
    -   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. 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


    Read more about Ontario's new four year plan, Safe at Work Ontario
(, that will help strengthen
workplace safety.

                                                      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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