A Ministry of Labour inspector can show up at any provincially regulated employers door step at anytime and perform a health and safety inspection of the entire workplace. This is often a very stressful time for employers who are not prepared!
If the inspector cites contraventions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act they have the power and authority to issue “orders to comply”. The order document lists the section in the Act that has been violated, specific information as to the offence and a date to comply. The employer must fax in a notice of compliance on or before the date issued by the inspector. The Ministry of Labour also has the authority to stop work if the inspector has reason to believe the work may place workers in immediate risk of injury. Any attempt to interfere or obstruct an inspectors audit is a contravention of the Act and can lead to a fine. Always cooperate with an inspector and let them do their job!
The Ministry of Labour often looks at key areas such as:
- Forklift Training Certifications
- Joint Health and Safety Committee Certification Training
- Written Safe Work Procedures and Implementation
- Up to date Health and Safety Board
- Proper Personal Protective Equipment is Being Used
- Adequate and Effective Guarding
- Preventative Maintenance
- Workplace Violence and Harassment Training and Risk Assessment
- Safety Infraction Enforcement
The above are some key areas of opportunity, but there are many more specific hazards that the Ministry of Labour will look at depending on the type of employer.
Ensure your health and safety program is in compliance, implemented and effective towards the goal of accident prevention!