Inspection blitzes announced by Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development
On hold during the pandemic, the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) has announced workplace inspection blitzes planned for 2022-2023.
The inspection initiatives are designed to help raise awareness of workplace health and safety hazards, and to increase compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations.
The two compliance initiatives that apply to all workplace sectors in Ontario focus on two high-risk areas. The first risk is being struck by vehicles, mobile equipment, objects, or machinery; these types of injuries are often serious or fatal. The second risk, even more relevant since COVID-19, is occupational disease.
All-sector compliance initiatives
High-risk traumatic hazards: Struck-by, motor vehicles, mobile equipment
From Apr. 1 to June 30, 2022, the Ministry focuses high-risk traumatic hazards, specifically ‘struck-by’ hazards including being struck by objects, machinery, motor vehicles and mobile equipment. The education, outreach, and awareness phase occurs from Apr. 1 to June 30, 2022, with compliance support from all health and safety associations, including Workplace Safety North (WSN). The inspection blitz is underway May 1 to June 26 across Ontario.
Healthy workers in healthy workplaces – occupational disease
From Oct. 3 to Dec. 30, the Ministry focus is on occupational disease. Education, outreach, and awareness occurs from Oct. 3 to Dec. 30, with compliance support from all health and safety associations, including WSN. The inspection blitz sees focused inspections across Ontario from Oct. 31 to Dec. 28.
Industrial compliance initiatives related to forest products sector
May - Temporary help agencies: Education, outreach, awareness phase is May 2 to Aug. 31, with compliance support from Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA), Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS), and Workplace Safety North (WSN).
Mining compliance initiatives
July - Storage, use and handling of explosives in surface and underground mines: Education, outreach, and awareness phase is from July 15 to Sept. 20, with compliance support from WSN. The inspection blitz phase occurs from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30.
Specialized Professional Services Initiative
April - Respiratory protection (hygiene): Education, outreach, and awareness phase is from Apr. 1, 2022, to Mar. 31, 2023, with compliance support from all health and safety associations, including WSN. The inspection blitz phase occurs from Jan. 4 to Mar. 31, 2023.
Employment standards in the workplace
Inspections also check that employers across the province are upholding employment standards. For example, employment standards officers inspect workplaces for minimum wage, hours of work, overtime pay, public holidays, and paid vacation.
The Ministry focuses on sectors with a history of violations, where vulnerable workers are employed, and sectors where the number of people working is on the rise.