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Last chance to register: Join us on February 16 – Webinar on Key OHS Cases from 2015

Don’t miss out on a complimentary webinar on Key OHS Cases from 2015.

Dentons’ Adrian Miedema and Chelsea Rasmussen will discuss key OHS cases from 2015. Topics will include:

  • Privilege in accident investigations
  • Metron update
  • Workplace violence
  • Marijuana use
  • OHS experts
  • Post-accident fixes

Webinar Details
February 16, 2016
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Click here to RSVP

Contact
Please contact toronto.events@dentons.com for any questions.

Last chance to register: Join us on February 16 – Webinar on Key OHS Cases from 2015

Voluntary Global Standard for Occupational Health and Safety Coming Soon

In August, the International Organization for Standardization (“ISO”), the world’s largest global developer of voluntary international standards, approved the creation of a project committee who will develop an international standard for occupational health and safety management systems (“OHSMS”).

The ISO states that the OHSMS standard is intended to provide governmental agencies, industry and other organizations with an effective, usable guidance for improving worker safety around the world.  One of the primary objectives of the new global standard is to create an international framework for OH&S best practices and help prevent and reduce work-related injuries, diseases, and deaths worldwide.

While the global standard will not be mandatory in Canada unless expressly adopted into Canadian law, the OHSMS standard may assist employers who opt to implement it in demonstrating that they have taken reasonable steps to ensure the health and safety of its workforce and could be of assistance where an employer is seeking to make out a due diligence defence.

The first meeting of the project committee is scheduled to be held from October 21-25, 2013 in London, United Kingdom. Stay tuned.

By Lindsay Mullen  and Jennifer Shepherd

 

Voluntary Global Standard for Occupational Health and Safety Coming Soon

Union Barred from Appealing Safety Issue not yet Decided by MOL Inspector: OLRB

Does a broken foot constitute a “critical injury” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act? Because the Ministry of Labour inspector had not yet considered that issue, a union was prohibited from raising the issue on appeal.

An employee was struck by a forklift and sustained multiple broken toes and ribs as well as a crushed toe and broken foot.

The employer and union disputed whether the injury was a “critical injury” under the OHSA. The employer and union called in a Ministry of Labour inspector to decide the issue. He decided that it was not a critical injury. However, he said that he had been told about only the toe injury and broken ribs, and not the multiple broken toes or broken foot.

The union appealed the inspector’s decision. The union attempted to argue that the broken foot was a critical injury.

The OLRB decided, based on previous decisions, that “an appeal from an Inspector’s Orders is restricted to the issues considered by the Inspector”. Because the inspector was aware of the injured toes but not the broken foot, the OLRB could decide only whether the toe injury constituted a critical injury. The OLRB could not decide the issue of whether the broken foot was a critical injury.

If the case proceeds to a hearing, we will obtain guidance as to whether a broken foot constitutes a critical injury under the OHSA, which would require the employer to report the injury to the MOL.

CAW Local 707 v. Ford Motor Company of Canada, 2013 CanLII22067 (OLRB) (April 19, 2013)

Union Barred from Appealing Safety Issue not yet Decided by MOL Inspector: OLRB

But I Feel Like a Sausage – The OHSA Does Not Require Employer to Provide “Winter Coveralls”: Arbitrator

As tight as summer coveralls might be with winter clothing underneath, the Occupational Health and Safety Act does not require employers to provide winter coveralls to crane operators, a Newfoundland arbitrator has held.

The collective agreement required the employer to provide “coveralls”. The employer provided summer coveralls with reflective “visibility markings” and which also protected the employee’s clothing. The employer did not provide winter coveralls, which were lined on the inside and therefore warmer.

The crane operators complained that the summer coveralls were not warm enough in the winter and fit too tightly to wear enough clothes to keep warm. They said that although the crane cabs were heated, they were drafty and the door must be opened and closed frequently.

The arbitrator decided that the need to wear warmer clothing underneath the coveralls in winter “was not established as a health and safety regulation or a requirement of the Collective Agreement.” The safety issues – visibility and protection of clothing – was adequately addressed by the summer coveralls.

This case appears to be part of a trend of unions attempting to achieve certain job benefits – such as winter clothing – for employees on the basis of safety. Here, the union was unable to establish that the lining in winter coveralls was a safety requirement.

Resource Development Trades Council of Newfoundland and Labrador v. Long Harbour Employers Association Inc., 2013 CanLII 12447 (NL LA) (January 7, 2013)

But I Feel Like a Sausage – The OHSA Does Not Require Employer to Provide “Winter Coveralls”: Arbitrator

First Ontario Company Convicted of Criminal Safety Charges: Christmas Eve Scaffold Collapse

On Christmas Eve, 2009, four workers died and a fifth was seriously injured when the scaffold they were standing on to effect repairs to the exterior of an apartment building in Etobicoke, Ontario collapsed and fell thirteen stories to the ground below.  The accident resulted in rare charges of criminal negligence causing death against the construction company, Metron Construction, and its owner and President, Joel Swartz.  None of the four workers killed – including supervisor Fayzullo Fasilov – were wearing lifelines at the time of the accident.  The fifth worker survived because he was wearing a lifeline, although it malfunctioned at the time of the accident.  A sixth worker escaped unharmed due to a functioning lifeline.

Recently, Metron Construction became the first Ontario company in history to plead guilty to charges of criminal negligence causing death. The Toronto Star was apparently in the courtroom at the time and reported on the contents of the agreed statement of facts – a document prepared jointly by prosecutors and defence lawyers that is read into court during a guilty plea.  The Star quoted the document as stating that Metron Construction’s guilty plea was a direct result of the acts and omissions of its supervisory employee, Mr. Fasilov, whose role within the organization was of sufficient authority to render Metron Construction legally responsible for his acts and omissions.  The Star reported that the agreed statement of facts went on to state that Mr. Fasilov failed to take reasonable steps to prevent harm and death by directing or permitting workers to work on a scaffold when he knew or should have known it was unsafe and that he directed the workers to complete the work knowing that only two lifelines were available.  The Star also said that a section of the agreed statement of facts indicated that Mr. Fasilov had permitted employees to work while under the influence of drugs, as a toxicology analysis had confirmed that three of the four workers killed, including Mr. Fasilov, had marijuana in their systems from recent ingestion. 

Prosecutors and lawyers for Metron Construction are continuing to make submissions to the court on the appropriate fine to be levied against Metron Construction.  Prosecutors are reportedly seeking $1,000,000.00. 

The Star also reported that prosecutors have dropped the charges of criminal negligence causing death against Mr. Swartz on the basis that they believed there was no reasonable chance of conviction, but that Mr. Swartz has pleaded guilty to four offences under the Occupational Health and Safety Act including:   failing to take reasonable care to ensure a worker using a fall protection system received adequate training, failing to keep proper training records, failing to take reasonable care to ensure a suspended scaffold was properly maintained to protect a worker’s safety and failing to comply with all aspects of construction regulations.   The Star indicated that prosecutors and defence lawyers have agreed to fines of $22,500.00 for each count, but that this joint submission on fines remains to be approved by the court.

The publicity around this case may generate renewed interest, from both the public and criminal prosecutors, in criminal safety prosecutions against Ontario employers.  Although the facts of the Metron Construction case are extreme, one thing is clear from this and other Bill C-45 criminal safety cases: charges are most likely where death or serious injury results from a hazard that was known to the employer or a supervisor but was not addressed.

We will keep you updated as more information unfolds about this case.

Toronto Star article:  http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/article/1215472–metron-construction-pleads-guilty-in-2009-deaths-of-four-workers-in-scaffold-tragedy

First Ontario Company Convicted of Criminal Safety Charges: Christmas Eve Scaffold Collapse

Union organization wants better enforcement of criminal safety offences under Bill C-45, releases guide for police

The Canadian Labour Congress (“CLC”), an association of unions, has published a guide for police use when investigating corporate criminal negligence in cases of serious workplace injuries and fatalities.  The Guide is entitled, Death & Injury at Work:  A Criminal Code Offence.  In a press statement issued in May 2012, the President of the CLC indicated that the CLC’s motivation to produce the guide arose from an increasing sense that police are too rarely moving to enforce the corporate criminal negligence laws introduced into the Criminal Code in 2004 through Bill C-45.

The Bill C-45 amendments introduced a legal duty for all persons “directing the work of others” to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of workers and the public – in effect, it made certain safety breaches criminal issues.  Since 2004, Bill C-45 charges have been laid in only six cases.  It would seem that the CLC wants to see more Bill C-45 charges and, certainly, some Canadian unions have been actively encouraging police to charge employers criminally after serious workplace accidents. 

Of perhaps the greatest interest to employers is the section of the guide that sets out the CLC’s 10 recommendations for police during an investigation into the possibility of Bill C-45 charges.   A brief summary of these recommendations follows:

1.  Take control of the scene.  The guide emphasizes the need to avoid key evidence being lost or tampered with by ensuring that a workplace accident is treated as any other crime scene.

2.  Call for back-up.  The guide suggests that the first police officer on the scene should notify the Ministry of Labour to send an inspector, if one is not already en route.

3.  Understand the corporate structure.  The guide recommends that police understand an organization’s hierarchy by clearly identifying people by name, title and function.

4.  Identify the victims and relevant players.  The guide recommends that police specifically identify the members of the joint health and safety committee and company health and safety staff that may have relevant evidence and information.

5.  Identify relevant evidence.  The guide notes that police must understand what was being done and why it was being done at the time of the accident and encourages police to track down relevant internal correspondence, memos, emails, records of meetings, policies and procedures in order to understand what was known by the organization, the decisions that were made and by whom.  The guide also notes that some of this information may be kept and stored off-site.

6.  Nature of relevant evidence.  The guide notes some of the unique documents that police should request in the case of workplace injuries or deaths such as site plans, work plans, health and safety programs and minutes of joint health and safety committee meetings.  The guide also suggests that the police quickly identify and speak with the organization’s manager in charge of health and safety.

7.  Experts will assist after identifying relevant evidence.  The guide encourages police to contact and work with experts once they have gathered evidence, as those experts may be able to establish a link not identified by the police – i.e. an expert opinion as to why a machine malfunctioned.

8.   Fundamental questions.  The guide encourages police to ask themselves questions when investigating individuals acting on behalf of an organization such as, “what did they know?”, “when did they know it?, “what should they have known?”, “what was done about it?”

9.  No due diligence.  The guide states that police must assess the degree of corporate failure to address the hazard that resulted in the harm.

10.  Arrest/criminal charges.  The guide emphasizes that unlike traditional crimes, charges or arrests should be made only after a very thorough investigation has been completed and access to off-site evidence is in the hands of police.

One is left to wonder whether the police will be interested in taking advice from a union organization with respect to criminal investigations.  However, the recommendations contained within the CLC’s guide, at the least, provide employers with a sense of when unions will push for criminal safety charges against employers. 

To review the full guide, please click here:  http://www.canadianlabour.ca/sites/default/files/death-and-injury-at-work-en.pdf

To review the press statement, please click here:  :  http://www.canadianlabour.ca/national/news/clc-releases-guide-investigating-corporate-negligence-workplace-may-9-20th-anniversary

Union organization wants better enforcement of criminal safety offences under Bill C-45, releases guide for police

Ontario Ministry of Labour’s Summer Safety Blitz for Young Workers

According to the Ministry of Labour, new and young workers are four times more likely to be injured during their first month of employment than at any other time.

As the summer season is now upon us and many young workers are poised to begin summer jobs, the Ministry of Labour has announced an enforcement blitz that will target workplaces where new and young workers are employed.  The blitz will focus on:

  • New and young workers aged 14 to 24 years
  • New workers that are 25 years and older and who are on the job for less than six months or reassigned to a new job

The blitz will focus on ensuring that young workers:

  • Are protected by required safety measures, equipment and procedures to prevent injuries
  • Are properly instructed, trained and supervised on jobs
  • Meet minimum age requirements.

Ministry of Labour inspectors will be specifically targeting workplaces that tend to employ a high proportion of young workers such as retail stores, wholesalers, restaurants, tourism and recreational facilities, vehicle sales and service centres, hospitals, nursing homes, retirement homes, agencies that provide services for the developmentally challenged, low-rise construction projects, municipalities and workplaces involving farming operations, logging and transportation.  Inspectors will also check workplaces such as golf courses, camps, temporary agencies amusement parks, and workplaces where workers are engaged in activities such as landscaping.

For more information, see:   http://news.ontario.ca/mol/en/2012/04/safety-blitz-helps-protect-new-and-young-workers-1.html

Ontario Ministry of Labour’s Summer Safety Blitz for Young Workers

Amendments to the Ontario OHSA in Force as of April 1, 2012

Back in 2011, Ontario employers learned that the government had passed Bill 160, or An Act to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 with respect to occupational health and safety and other matters.  This Bill represented part of a major overhaul of Ontario’s occupational health and safety system.  Although the Bill received royal assent on June 1, 2011, many of the amendments were not scheduled to come into force until April 1, 2012, or later dates to be proclaimed.  The amendments that came into force on April 1, 2012 include the following: 

  • Section 50 of the OHSA has been amended to permit an inspector to refer matters involving reprisals to the Ontario Labour Relations Board (the “Board”) where the circumstances warrant such a referral, the worker consents, and the matter in question has not been dealt with by way of final and binding arbitration under a collective agreement or by way of a worker complaint to the Board.
     
  • Section 50 of the OHSA has also been amended to permit the Office of the Worker Advisor to provide support to non-unionized workers in respect of reprisal complaints.  Similarly, the Office of the Employer Advisor has been granted permission to provide support to employers with less than 100 employees (or such other number as may be prescribed) who are responding to reprisal complaints.
     
  • Section 63 of the OHSA has been amended to ensure certain protections for employees of the Office of the Worker Advisor and the Office of the Employer Advisor against their compellability as witnesses in legal proceedings and their obligation to produce the documentation or information they have gathered while acting within the scope of their employment.
     
  • Section 65 of the OHSA has been amended to include employees of the Office of the Worker Advisor and the Office of the Employer Advisor in the list of individuals who have immunity from civil proceedings where they have exercised their duties or powers under the OHSA in good faith.
     
  • Section 70 of the OHSA has been amended to allow the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario to make regulations with respect to the functions of the Office of the Worker Advisor and the Office of the Employer Advisor.
Amendments to the Ontario OHSA in Force as of April 1, 2012

Lock-out Violation and Failure to Report not Just Cause to Terminate a Supervisor: Company Inconsistent in Discipline for Safety Issues

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has held that a company did not have just cause to immediately terminate the employment of a supervisor for a lock-out violation and his failure to report the violation.

Polyone Canada Inc. is a manufacturing company that makes plastic pellets in various sizes and colours.  The court found that Polyone had a  strong culture of health and safety.  In particular, the company emphasized its “Cardinal Rules”, which include the requirement that any machinery being worked on must be locked out and tagged by any employee working on the machinery. 

The incident that gave rise to this case involved a line supervisor with 17 years of service with the company.  On the day of the incident, the supervisor was informed that the dicer machine was not working properly.  Preoccupied by frustration with some of his employees, the supervisor went over to the machine to clean it out.  In the presence of some of his employees, the supervisor removed the internal safety screen and reached into the machine, momentarily forgetting that he had not first locked out the machine.  Fortunately, neither the supervisor nor any other employees were injured as a result of the incident, which clearly constituted a breach of the company’s “Cardinal Rules”.  Furthermore, despite being well aware of his obligation to immediately report the incident to management, the supervisor did not do so.  However, the employees who had witnessed the incident were bothered by it and they reported the incident to management later that night.  The company commenced a workplace investigation the next day and terminated the supervisor for just cause approximately one week later, following the completion of its investigation.

The supervisor then launched a wrongful dismissal action, which the company defended on the basis that it had just cause to terminate the supervisor’s employment as a result of his serious breaches of the “Cardinal Rules”.  The court concluded that the supervisor’s failure to lock out the machine was very serious as it could have resulted in signficant harm.  The court went on to state that the supervisor’s failure to report the incident was even more serious, as unenforced safety rules in a workplace where heavy equipment operates present a continuing safety risk.  In addition, the  fact that the employee held a supervisory position aggravated the matter, because the supervisor’s conduct could send a message to employees that the company safety rules were not important. 

However, despite all of these findings, the court found that the supervisor’s conduct did not give rise to just cause for termination.  The court found that in a similar situation which had occurred earlier in the year, an employee had failed to lock out a machine.  The matter was not properly reported and the company did not discipline the employee.  In light of the company’s response to the earlier incident, the court found that the termination of the supervisor’s employment for just cause in this case was disproportionate, despite the admitted seriousness of the supervisor’s actions.  As a result, the court found the supervisor was entitled to 14 months’ reasonable notice.

One of the key points for employers to take away from this case is the critical importance of ensuring that they respond in a consistent manner to all violations of safety rules.

Review a copy of the full decision here:  http://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/doc/2011/2011onsc6068/2011onsc6068.pdf

 

Lock-out Violation and Failure to Report not Just Cause to Terminate a Supervisor: Company Inconsistent in Discipline for Safety Issues

Saskatchewan Law Proposed to Protect Late Night Retail Workers

The Saskatchewan legislature completed its first reading of a proposed new law, Bill 27, known as “Jimmy’s Law” on December 15, 2011.  This law, if passed, would amend Saskatchewan’s Occupational Health and Safety Act to require employers operating gas stations, convenience stores or other retail stores that are open and staffed by a lone worker between the late night hours of 11:00P.M. and 6:00 A.M. to provide the lone worker with additional safety supports. 

In its current form, the Bill sets out two options for employers to choose from with respect to additional safety supports: an employer must either ensure that it assigns one or more other workers to join the lone worker during the late night hours, or alterntivaely, it must ensure that the lone worker is separated from the public by a locked door or barrier.  These options are similar to those required for the protection of lone workers in other Canadian jurisdictions, including British Columbia (see post entitled “WorkSafe BC Changing Late Night Retail Rules” below, posted on December 13, 2011).

The impetus for “Jimmy’s Law” was the June 20, 2011 dealth of Jimmy Ray Wiebe of Yorkton, Saskatchewan who was murdered while working alone at night at a local gas station.

 To review the Bill, click here:  http://docs.legassembly.sk.ca/legdocs/Bills/27L1S/Bill27-601.pdf

Saskatchewan Law Proposed to Protect Late Night Retail Workers

U.K. Review: Workers Injured Through no Fault of the Employer Should be Prohibited from Suing their Employer

In March 2011, the U.K. government retained Professor Ragnar E. Löfstedt of Kings College London to conduct a review of its health and safety laws. 

Professor Löfstedt conducted a detailed six month review and presented his recommendations to the U.K. Parliament in early November 2011.

Although his research concluded that there was no need to radically alter the U.K.’s current health and safety legislation, Professor Löfstedt did discover that the rising number of civil suits by employees with respect to health and safety issues was of significant concern to employers.  This was especially true with respect to cases involving strict liability offences – i.e. cases where employees were being awarded compensation even though the employer had done everything that was “reasonably practicable” and foreseeable in order to prevent the injury or accident.  As Professor Löfstedt stated in his report, “…awarding compensation on the basis of a technical breach where there is no opportunity for the [employer] to be aware of the danger, and no actions could have been taken to prevent the accident, clearly has the potential to stop employers taking a common sense approach to health and safety.” 

As a result of this finding, Professor Löfstedt recommended that a review be conducted of all strict liability provisions in the U.K.’s health and safety laws and that the provisions be modified either by adding a “reasonably practicable” defence for employers, or by removing the possibility of  civil liability attaching to the provisions.

Although due to provincial workers’ compensation legislation, most Canadian workers are prohibited from suing their employers for losses suffered due to workplace injuries, one wonders whether this review is recognition that in some countries, workplace safety laws have sometimes been applied in ways that are unfair to employers, imposing liability where the employer could not have done anything different.

 For further information, see Professor Löfstedt’s report: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/lofstedt-report.pdf

U.K. Review: Workers Injured Through no Fault of the Employer Should be Prohibited from Suing their Employer

A Workplace Mental Health Standard from the CSA?

There is no generally-accepted national standard for how employers – and employees  – should deal with mental health issues in the workplace.  The Canadian Standards Association is attempting to change that.

 According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, mental illnesses and mental health issues are the leading cause of short- and long- term disability in the country.  The cost of dealing with these issues is in the range of $51 billion per year, with almost $20 billion of that amount coming from workplace losses.  However, assistance is on the way. 

 The Canadian Standards Association has announced a public consultation period with respect to its development of a new, voluntary National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.  The goal of the standard is to provide employees and employers with guidance and tools to assist them in improving the psychological health and safety of employees in the workplace.  The CSA says that the implementation of the standard is aimed, in part, at assisting employers by helping them to lower rates of absenteeism, workplace injuries, disability costs and legal risk while also reducing turnover, enhancing recruitment and increasing employee engagement.   The consultation period runs until December 31, 2011.

For background information, see the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s backgrounder:  http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/Workforce_2011/Workforce-Standard-Backgrounder-FINAL.pdf

 For further information from the Canadian Standards Association, including information on how to participate in the public consultation, see:  http://www.csa.ca/cm/ca/en/news/article/public-consultation-workplace-mental-health-standard

https://review.csa.ca/opr/opr_list.asp

 

A Workplace Mental Health Standard from the CSA?

Sometimes Seatbelts Endanger Lives: Bus Driver Not Guilty of Seatbelt Charge

The Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench has overturned a Saskatoon transit driver’s traffic court conviction for failing to wear his seatbelt while on the job.  The driver claimed that his refusal was justified due to the risk of assaults by passengers, which he claimed was a “growing nationwide epidemic” that he and a number of his colleagues had experienced firsthand.

 At issue was a contest between a Saskatoon employee policy and the province’s Traffic Safety Act.  The employee policy states that all public employees must be buckled in whenever they are behind the wheel of a city vehicle, while the Traffic Safety Act exempts a bus driver from the requirement to wear a seatbelt if he or she has reason to believe the seatbelt might put them at risk of injury.

 The Crown argued that under the Traffic Safety Act exemption, the driver should be permitted to unbuckle only when he or she faces a specific  risk of injury from a specific person or circumstance – for example, a passenger who suddenly becomes violent.  The driver argued the exemption is broader and should be extended to situations where drivers face less-specific threats, such as continuous exposure to safety threats such as assaults.   The driver argued that once drivers have identified a specific risk of injury, it is often too late for them to remove their seatbelts in order to defend themselves, so that drivers should be permitted to not buckle up at all.

 The Court agreed with the driver and found that the exemption in the Traffic Safety Act should be interpreted broadly.  In overturning the driver’s conviction, finding him not guilty of the seatbelt charge, the Court further concluded that the driver’s decision not to wear his seatbelt was a reasonable reaction to the experiences of himself and others.

 Read the decision at:  http://www.canlii.org/en/sk/skqb/doc/2011/2011skqb390/2011skqb390.pdf

Sometimes Seatbelts Endanger Lives: Bus Driver Not Guilty of Seatbelt Charge

Non-Compliance with Order Lands Ontario Business Owner $17,000 Fine and 15 Convictions

Employers who do not comply with Ministry of Labour orders face the wrath of MOL inspectors, and of the courts.  In May 2009, Ontario health and safety inspectors visited Infinity Marble of Canada, a synthetic marble and granite manufacturing company led by sole proprietor Waldemar Kozuchowski.  The inspectors issued several orders in respect of health and safety violations.  The inspectors made a number of follow-up visits to the premises between May 2009 and May 2010 but the violations remained, resulting in further orders.  In total, inspectors wrote 23 orders, 15 of which were not complied with by Mr. Kozuchowski.  The orders that were not complied with included a stop work order relating to the use of a spray booth, as well as orders related to the improper storage of flammable liquids, poor ventilation, a lack of a system to contain spills and a failure to ensure that workers wore respirators.

On October 28, 2011 Mr. Kozuchowski was found guilty of 15 counts of failing to comply with an order issued by an inspector.  He was fined $3,000 for his failure to comply with the stop work order and $1,000 per count with respect to his failure to comply with each of the 14 other orders, resulting in a total fine of $17,000, plus the 25% victim fine surcharge.  For more information, see the Ministry of Labour’s News Release:  http://news.ontario.ca/mol/en/2011/11/business-owner-fined-17000-for-non-compliance.html

Non-Compliance with Order Lands Ontario Business Owner $17,000 Fine and 15 Convictions

Racking Targeted in Ontario’s November Workplace Inspection Blitz

The Ontario Ministry of Labour’s November 2011 workplace inspection blitz will target racking and storage facilities at industrial workplaces.  Ministry of Labour inspectors will be visiting industrial workplaces in Ontario to inspect racking and employer procedures for working around racking.  Among other things, inspectors will be examining whether racking and storage systems have been properly selected and installed and that any required pre-start health and safety reviews of the systems have been conducted.  Inspectors will also be focusing on whether the systems are being maintained in a good state of repair and that any damaged components have been promptly replaced or repaired.  Further, inspectors will be checking to ensure that aisles are clear of obstructions, pallets are being maintained in good condition, lift trucks are being operated safety and workers have been provided with required training.   For more information, see the Ministry of Labour’s Alert:  http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/sawo/pubs/fs_rackingstorage.php

Racking Targeted in Ontario’s November Workplace Inspection Blitz