Ontario MOL Blitz Results: Racking, Mine Ventillation, Infection Control

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has released the results of recent inspection blitzes dealing with racking and storage, underground mining ventillation, and infection prevention and control.

With respect to racking and storage, the MOL notes that from 2006 to 2010, three workers died and 45 others were seriously injured in racking and storage incidents.  In its November 2011 blitz, MOL inspectors conducted 1,167 visits to 977 workplaces and issued 3,063 compliance orders, including 118 stop work orders.  The most common compliance order required employers to maintain racking and storage equipment in good condition, suggesting that the MOL found racking defects such as dents in rack supports.

With respect to underground mining ventillation, the MOL notes that between 2005 and 2009, 176 workers died and another 36 workers developed occupational diseases related to respiratory illnesses in the mining sector.  In October and November 2011, MOL inspectors conducted 61 visits to 36 underground mines and issued 207 compliance orders under the OHSA, including 22 stop work orders to underground mines.  The most common specific compliance order required employers to prepare a plan to comply with an inspector’s order.

With respect to infection prevention and control, the MOL states that in 2010, more than 1,150 health care workers filed infectious disease claims that were approved by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.  In November 2011, MOL inspectors conducted 116 visits to 100 health care workplaces and issued 192 compliance orders.  The most common specific compliance order was to perform at least an annual review of health and safety procedures.

The blitz results, and information on the MOL’s “next steps” in these three areas, may be viewed at http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/sawo/blitzes/blitz_report36.php, http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/sawo/blitzes/blitz_report35.php, and http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/sawo/blitzes/blitz_report34.php.

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Adrian Miedema

About Adrian Miedema

Adrian is a partner in the Toronto Employment group of Dentons Canada LLP. He advises and represents public- and private-sector employers in employment, health and safety and human rights matters. He appears before employment tribunals and all levels of the Ontario courts on behalf of employers. He also advises employers on strategic and risk management considerations in employment policy and contracts.

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