Provincial Health and Safety initiatives for 2019-2020

The Ministry of Labour (MOL) has released its Provincial Health and Safety initiatives for 2019-2020. Notably, some industrial hygiene relevant inspections will be taking place across all sectors in the Province. The target for the Provinces Healthy workers in healthy workplaces, focuses on musculoskeletal disorders and respiratory hazards. Phase 1 will take place from September 1 “ December 27, 2019 and will deal with compliance assistance and help contacting all relevant health and safety associations. Phase 2 will take place from October 1 “ December 27, 2019 and will deal with focused inspections. This is the phase where the MOL can issue worker orders, stop work orders and industrial hygiene testing and controls.

Inspections are carried out by Ministry of Labour health and safety inspectors. Inspectors carry significant power to compel businesses to conform to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, or demonstrate that they are conforming. In the case of respiratory hazards, the employer may be required to perform air sampling to confirm that their employees are not being exposed to elevated levels of contaminants, i.e. Solvents, silica etc. Should an employer be exposing workers to higher than recommended amounts of airborne agents, they are required to remedy this by installing additional working controls, such as increased ventilation, improved material handling, personal protective equipment or a combination of all three.

Once working controls are in place a second set of air sampling will be required, taking into consideration those additional controls that have been put in place. Keep in mind the Ministry keeps records on companies that have a history of non-compliance; this can result in repeat visits, orders or stop work orders. Its better for employers to be proactive and ensure they have provided a healthy workplace than to become an MOL target, both from a worker and business perspective.

For more information please contact Ryan Dignard at 905-890-6957 ext. 103 or Charles Geen at 905-890-6957 ext. 104