From May 1 to August 31, 2015, Ministry of Labour inspectors conducted a health and safety enforcement blitz in the industrial sector focusing on:
- young workers aged 14 to 24,
- new workers who were on the job for less than six months or assigned to a new job, and
- employers’ compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act ( OHSA ) and its regulations.
During the blitz, inspectors focused on workplaces where many new and young workers were employed, including:
- farming operations
- agricultural services
- tourism, hospitality and recreation
- vehicle sales and service
- food, beverage and tobacco
- sawmills and logging
- ensure employers advise new and young workers of hazards in the workplace
- raise awareness of the OHSA rights and responsibilities for new and young workers
- encourage employers to identify and control hazards
- address and remedy non-compliance with the OHSA and its regulations
- deter non-compliant employers
- enhance health and safety partnerships
- promote improved health and safety for new and young workers
Ministry inspectors conducted 3,396 visits to 2,704 workplaces and issued 11,470 orders under the OHSA and its regulations. This included 209 stop work orders. On average, 3.38 orders were issued during each workplace visit. Some of the workplaces were visited several times.
Three frequently issued OHSA orders involved employers’ failure to:
- post an OHSA copy in the workplace (section 25(2)(i)) – 709 orders or 6.2 per cent
- maintain equipment in good condition (section 25(1)(b)) – 626 orders or 5.5 per cent
- take reasonable precautions to protect workers’ health and safety (section 25(2)(h)) – 507 orders or 4.4 per cent
As part of checking for worker training and appropriate supervision in workplaces, orders were issued under the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation for violations involving:
- basic occupational health and safety awareness training for workers (section 1(1) to 1(3)) – 787 orders or 6.9 per cent
- basic occupational health and safety awareness training for supervisors (section 2(1) to 2(3)(1)) – 615 orders or 5.4 per cent
The blitz found that retail, restaurant, and wood and metal fabrication workplaces had the most orders of any sectors visited.
The blitz results indicate new and young workers continue to be exposed to many of the same hazards in workplaces across all sectors, regardless of the size of the workplace or nature of business. Continued enforcement is needed to improve the health and safety of all new and young workers in all sectors.
To read more about the New and Young Workers Blitz Results, please visit the Ministry of Labour website.