Prevention System Updates

New info re: January blitz on construction hazards at active workplaces

Release Date:  Jan 16, 2014

Ontario's Ministry of Labour has released more information on a blitz taking place this month targeting construction hazards at active workplaces, including who's being targeted and what inspectors are focusing on. First reported in the November 2013 issue of WSPS Network News, the blitz applies to industrial, retail, municipal and educational workplaces in which major renovations, repairs, additions or other construction projects valued at $50,000 or more are taking place.

Among these workplaces, the ministry will target any

  • not previously visited by the ministry
  • where complaints have been received
  • with a history of non-compliance.

During their visits, inspectors will focus on these priorities:

  • noise exposure — are constructors and employers taking appropriate precautions to maintain noise levels within acceptable levels, as required?
  • airborne substance exposure — are construction workers and employers taking appropriate precautions to protect people in the workplace from exposure to airborne substances created by activities such as cutting, grinding and polishing materials?
  • hazardous materials/designated substances — are the Regulations for the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) being followed when controlled products are used? This includes checking for supplier and workplace labels, availability of material safety data sheets, and WHMIS training. Inspectors are also checking that required controls are in place for designated substances.
  • storage and movement of equipment and material — are construction workers and employers taking appropriate precautions to protect workers when equipment and materials are stored and moved? Inspectors are also checking the effectiveness of separations between the existing workplace and construction activities.
  • personal protective equipment — is personal protective equipment is available, and have workers have been trained on its use and limitations?
  • administrative issues — do construction workers and employers have emergency contingency plans in place, and have the plans have been communicated to workers and others in the workplace?

Find out what you need to do to keep people safe if your business has construction work taking place or planned while the business is operating.