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Ontario Hires 100 Additional Health and Safety Inspectors

The Ontario government has hired over 100 new occupational health and safety inspectors to support business inspection campaigns, and help ensure employees, businesses and the public are protected. The new inspectors have begun a condensed training program, and will begin making field visits, with a mentor, within five weeks of their start date. They are scheduled to be fully trained and deployed by July 1, 2021.

 

"As the province continues to reopen, we need businesses of all sizes to do better as there are no shortcuts to safety," said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. "With a new total of more than 500 inspectors, our government is building the largest team of inspectors in Ontario's history to educate business owners, enforce public health measures and keep workplaces safe now, and for many years to come."

 

To date, Ontario's provincial offences officers have conducted more than 13,374 COVID-related workplace inspections and investigations across the province since the beginning of 2021, issuing 9,480 orders and 373 tickets, and stopped unsafe work 15 times. These inspections have demonstrated that the majority of businesses are learning how to operate safely during COVID-19 and appreciate the support and guidance from the province.

 

Workplace inspections continue to focus on educating small businesses across the province to help them reopen from lockdowns safely. Over the past week, 110 provincial offences officers in Eastern Ontario, Durham Region, and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph visited 1,081 workplaces, the majority of which were small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. The two-stage inspections provide COVID-19 education and guidance for small businesses in the first round - particularly those that were closed during the provincial shutdown - followed by more enforcement-oriented inspections on follow-up visits.

 

Over the coming weeks, officers will return to businesses that have already been visited in Eastern Ontario, Durham Region and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, shifting toward enforcing COVID-19 safety requirements, and issuing orders and tickets, if necessary. Additional two-stage campaigns, focusing on small businesses, are scheduled to take place in York Region on March 5 and 6, Windsor Essex on March 6 and Waterloo Region from March 11 to 16.

 

These initiatives, in consultation with local public health units, include targeted blitzes of big-box stores, the farming sector, and the province's "Stay Safe All Day" campaign, focusing on areas of high transmission such as breakrooms. In the most recent two-week campaign in Peel Region, inspectors visited 208 warehouses and distribution centres and issued 26 tickets. The most common areas of non-compliance were related to safety plans, screening and masking.

 

"Our business community and especially our small business owners are very appreciative of these collaborative workplace safety campaigns with the Durham Region Health Department," said Dr. Robert Kyle, Durham Region Medical Officer of Health. "Throughout the pandemic, we have been actively working with our business community to educate owners and operators about their responsibilities to ensure that all public health measures are in place and rigorously followed to protect public safety. When workers and employers learn how to stop the spread of COVID-19 in their workplaces, our entire community benefits."

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International Women's Day

 

Toronto - Today, Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues, issued the following statement to mark International Women’s Day:

 

“Today we celebrate International Women’s Day - a day to highlight the success and leadership of women around the world and acknowledge the work that lies ahead towards achieving full gender equality.

 

The theme this year is “Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world" in recognition of the immense contributions of women serving on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.

 

Women make up the majority of the essential frontline workers in several sectors, including health care, social services and retail. They also represent the majority of workers in the education, childcare and early years sectors, which we know are vital for our children’s well-being, and supporting our working parents during the pandemic.

But women have also been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, both economically and socially. They have shouldered many burdens such as additional childcare responsibilities and increased domestic violence. Their participation in the labour market, in particular, has been severely affected.

 

Even before COVID-19, advancing women’s economic empowerment was a key priority for our government. That priority has become all the more urgent now. We are determined that women will not be left behind, and will in fact make a strong contribution to Ontario’s economic recovery. To that end, we are working across government to provide the necessary supports for women to return to the workforce, including childcare for working mothers.

 

Our post-pandemic goal is to continue building a bright future full of opportunities for all women in Ontario. A future where women are leaders and decision makers, no matter what career they choose. A future where every woman and girl is empowered to succeed, because promoting women’s full economic participation supports Ontario’s continued growth and prosperity. This is the bold new future we are building for the benefit of future generations.

 

So, on this International Women’s Day, I encourage everyone to take a moment and reflect on the lasting influence all of the determined, caring and compassionate women have had on your life. I am sure it will bring back some wonderful memories.”

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Worker's Fall Results in $60,000 Fine for Thunder Bay Employer

 

Court Bulletin

 

 

Worker's Fall Results in $60,000 Fine for Thunder Bay Employer

 

February 19, 2021

 

Convicted: Robert C. Nearing Holdings Inc., operator of a Canadian Tire outlet at 939 Fort William Road in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

 

Location of Workplace: 939 Fort William Road in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

 

Description of Offence: A worker fell from a second-storey level through an opening that should have had a guardrail to protect workers from injury.

 

Date of Offences: June 11, 2019.

 

Date of Conviction: February 19, 2021.

 

Penalty Imposed:

 

Following a guilty plea in provincial offences court in Thunder Bay, Robert C. Holdings Inc. was fined $60,000 by Justice of the Peace J. A. Bernard Caron; Crown Counsel Wes Wilson.


The court also imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

 

Background:

 

Robert C. Nearing Holdings Inc. operates a Canadian Tire outlet at 939 Fort William Road (Thunder Centre) in the City of Thunder Bay.


On June 11, 2019 a worker was requested by a co-worker to go to a storage area behind the auto repair bays of the facility to assist in retrieving two boxed barbeques from storage. The co-worker had been directed to retrieve the items by the store manager.


The storage facility was constructed by joining three "sea-cans" -  intermodal shipping containers - side by side, then stacking the same size and number of containers on top to create two levels of storage capacity. Access to the top level was afforded by means of a set of stairs leading to a metal walkway running the width of the joined container fronts.


The walkway had a series of upright posts on the side opposite the containers. Across from the entrance to each second-storey container was a removeable chain between posts, which, when removed, allowed access f or a forklift to deliver or remove storage items.


The total width of each gap created by removing a chain was 97 inches  If the forks of the forklift were inserted into the gap, an unprotected opening between the forklift's mast structure and the posts on one or both sides would remain, the width of which depended on placement of the forks. The width of the mast was 42 ½ inches.


On the day noted, the two workers were on the second-storey walkway to retrieve the boxed barbeques. The chain opposite the entrance to a storage container was removed, and a forklift, operated by a supervisor, was moved to the gap, with the forks extending into the gap. 


The two workers removed a barbeque from the container and loaded it onto the forks. They then removed a second barbeque and were in the process of stacking it onto the first.


One worker stepped off the walkway with one foot through the opening, and fell to the ground.


The unprotected openin g the worker fell through was 46 inches wide. The height of the walkway surface above the ground was 8 feet, 7½ inches.


The inspector from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development investigating the incident ordered that a guardrail complying with the requirements of section 14 of the Regulation for Industrial Establishments (Regulation 851) be installed on the walkway, and that workers be protected from falls when that guardrail is removed. Those orders were complied with. A compliant guardrail was installed and a procedure was developed for working with the guardrail removed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

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Health & Safety Policy - Annual Review

Did you know that the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires every workplace with more than five employees to have a written Health & Safety Policy and a Program to implement that policy?

 

 OHSA states "An employer shall prepare and review at least annually a written occupational health and safety policy and develop and maintain a program to implement that policy."

 

As the snow falls and a number of construction sites are hibernating, now is the perfect time to complete those annual reviews.  The H&S Policy should be updated to reflect any changes in the OHSA Act / Regs and should also include any policy or procedural changes that have been introduced. When taking this task on be sure to review any and all accidents / incidents and near misses reported last season.

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Working at Heights Training (WAH)

Time to check those training cards to verify the validity period. Ontario Working at Heights Training is valid for 3 years after the successful completion of a CPO approved program. After 3 years workers are required to successfully complete a refresher program to keep their training valid for another 3 years.

 

To be eligible for refresher training, workers must have previously successfully completed both modules of an approved working at heights training program. You can check eligibility status using our eligibility checker tool. https://cms.bluedrop.io/client/eligibility-checker/
 

With COVID MLTSD gave certain construction sector works an extra year to attend Working at Heights Refresher training. The extension applies to workers who successfully completed their working-at-heights training between February 28 and August 31, 2017. The validity period, normally three years, would have ended in 2020. It now ends in 2021 and is fast approaching.

 

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The cold has arrived.

Just a reminder to check your propane certifications and make sure they're still valid. If they're not, we can help!

 

Any worker who handles propane cylinders or connects and activates propane equipment on a construction site requires training. This course covers the properties and hazards of propane, propane safety features as well as proper PPE and activation of equipment. This course is approved by TSSA. CH-02 LP

 

Course Outline:

 

Connection & Use of Construction Heaters Up To 400,000 BTU

  1. Activating, Connecting and Disconnecting Propane Heaters up to 400,000 BTU (British Thermal Units) from Piping, Tubing or a Propane Cylinder.

Connection & Use of Propane Torches

 

  1. This program educates participants on propane cylinders, how to use torches and regulators and regulating pressure from propane tanks to heaters.

Propane Cylinder Handling & Exchange

 

  1. Participants gain an understanding of the various types and sizes of propane cylinders; receiving and storage of cylinders at the construction site; transporting cylinders around the construction site; and regulatory requirements of cylinder use.

 

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April 3, 2021
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