WHAT’S NEW – December 2015 | Issue #67
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The Ministry of Labour has released its annual report on the state of workplace health and safety in Ontario. It discusses accomplishments in the past year, such as initiatives and legislative changes, and provides a preview of what’s ahead.
Ontario has passed legislation that amends three separate acts affecting workers – helping to further ensure the rights of employees across the province are protected.
The ministry has extended noise protection requirements to all Ontario workplaces under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Worker exposure to noise from machinery and other sources that is not properly controlled or eliminated may cause permanent hearing loss. The regulation takes effect July 1, 2016.
Ontario is improving safety for construction workers by amending three regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The amendments include strengthened fall protection measures and new requirements for the safe operation of rotary foundation drill rigs. They also include enhanced provisions relating to the protection of workers from exposure to carbon monoxide and other gases and fumes from internal combustion engines. Also, Regulation 833 – which includes occupational exposure limits – now applies to construction projects.
The ministry is consulting on proposed changes to the Mining Regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. These include new or amended requirements for risk assessments, water and traffic management programs, the recording of seismic events, and surface diamond drill training.
Working, travelling and parking on the frozen surfaces of ponds, lakes and rivers can be hazardous if the ice cover cannot safely support the load. The Infrastructure Health & Safety Association provides a guideline that summarizes best practices for the construction and operation of transportation roadways and working platforms that rely on floating ice.
Trenches can be dangerous due to their depth and narrow opening that can limit escape in an emergency. Workers can also be at risk because of widely varying soil types, unstable ground conditions and high water content. The ministry conducted an inspection blitz this past summer focusing on hazards in trench construction. Learn what they found.
Mine workers can be at risk of serious injury from hazards involving motor vehicles and mobile equipment. This past summer, ministry inspectors and engineers targeted traffic control hazards in underground and surface mines that could result in workers being injured or killed. Learn what inspectors discovered in the field visits.
New and young workers in Ontario are three times more likely to be injured during their first month on the job than at any other time. This past summer, ministry inspectors conducted an inspection blitz in the industrial sector focusing on new and young workers. They visited sectors such as: retail, restaurants, tourism, hospitality and recreation, vehicle sales and service, wholesale, automotive, food, beverage and tobacco, and sawmills and logging. Learn what the top orders issued were.
The ministry is hiring health and safety program staff to work across the province. The ministry offers extensive training, and competitive salary and benefits. The closing date is January 4, 2016.
The ministry has encountered prefabricated aluminum guardrail post assemblies being used as fall protection on construction sites. Learn about possible hazards with these guardrail systems, including inadequate support for loads, a lack of manufacturer’s instructions, and damaged aluminum parts.
Learn more about your workplace rights: Ontario.ca/workplacerights