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LIUNA Local 183
SAFETY BLITZ TARGETS CONSTRUCTION SITES
SAFETY BLITZ TARGETS CONSTRUCTION SITES
3/20/2009 9:14:22 AM

Ontario is continuing its efforts to reduce workplace injuries by cracking down on hazards involving construction equipment and materials handling at construction sites in March, 2009.

During the safety “blitz,” inspectors will pay particular attention to conditions that could result in workers being struck — or trapped and crushed — by moving equipment or improperly secured building materials.

For each conviction, the court can impose a fine of up to $500,000 against a corporation convicted under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Individuals face a fine of up to $25,000 or imprisonment of up to 12 months, or both.

This initiative is part of the province’s Safe At Work Ontario blitz strategy, announced in June 2008. Keeping more workers safe means increased productivity for Ontario’s economy and less strain on the health care system.

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"There is no excuse for construction workers being injured by moving equipment or shifting materials,” said Labour Minister Peter Fonseca. “Ontario and its workplace partners are committed to eliminating all workplace injuries, including those related to construction equipment. Workers have a right to come home each day to their families, safe and sound.”

Facts:

  • For a safety compliance program that ran from April 1, 2004 to March 31, 2008, the annual lost-time workplace injury rate dropped by 20 per cent.
  • Thirty-four construction workers were killed when struck by, or crushed by, construction equipment (or the material being handled by the equipment) during the four years from 2005 to 2008, according to ministry statistics.
  • During 2006, 60 per cent of construction fatalities involved heavy equipment (including electrocution when equipment contacted power lines).
  • Ontario employs 430 full-time occupational health and safety inspectors.

Read more about Ontario’s four year plan, Safe at Work Ontario, that will help strengthen workplace safety.

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