As part of the Occupational Health and Safety Program and the Employment Standards Program, the Ontario Ministry of Labour will complete their 2014-2015 blitz schedule with one final blitz targeting slips, trips and fall hazards in the industrial sector. Initiated in early February and scheduled to end on March 15, the inspection is one of the many initiatives taken by the Ministry this year to educate employers on the details of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Employment Standards Act (ESA).
“Slips, trips and falls are major hazards for workers in the industrial sector. Our government is committed to preventing these types of incidents. All workers deserve to return home to their families safe and sound at the end of each work day,” stated Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour.
In order to verify safety compliance, inspectors will visit multiple workplaces, including auto dealerships, restaurants, stores and various processing plants. Employers will be tested to see if they can properly identify and address hazards that could cause injuries from slipping, tripping or falling.
Since employers aren’t always aware of their responsibilities, and in some cases have not yet adapted their workplaces in compliance with the law, these inspections expose knowledge gaps, fix compliance problems, and ensure that employers are taking the proper steps to protect their workers from injury, illness, exploitation, and unfair treatment.
This is a good, proactive way to ensure employers review OHSA details and conduct their own workplace audits on a regular basis. All environmental hazards should be identified and addressed, including floor surfaces, slip and fall areas, traffic zones, and stairways. Preventing slips and falls will come from a variety of preventive moves, from providing adequate lighting and handrails to keeping floors dry and clean, not to mention providing workers with adequate fall protection equipment.
If employers aren’t sure which hazards to address, they should contact the Ministry of Labour in advance of next year’s inspection blitzes. In the meantime, for materials handling questions involving lift trucks, lift truck operation, and lift truck operator training, reach out to the experts at Liftow.