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Ontario’s fall safety blitz targets manufacturing workplaces Featured

The Ministry of Labour will focus on various hazards at manufacturing workplaces across Ontario this fall.

In October and November, Ministry of Labour industrial inspectors will check on machine guarding and lockout hazards. They will also check on hazards involving musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), chemical and noise exposure and workplace violence and harassment.

Hazards at manufacturing sector workplaces can result in injuries, illness or even death, according to the labour ministry.

Ministry inspectors will check a number of things during inspection visits. They will check to ensure that exposed moving parts and in-running nip hazards on machines and equipment are properly guarded, lockout procedures are followed to prevent machines from starting when repairs or maintenance are carried out, and that equipment is maintained in good condition.

Inspectors will also check to ensure that workers are trained and supervised on lockout procedures, and that they are protected from other hazards. The blitz is part of the province’s Safe At Work Ontario enforcement strategy to increase compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations. In 2010, hazards involving inadequate machine guarding and lockout procedures were among the top four causes of injuries, according to Workplace Safety and Insurance Board data. These types of injuries also tended to be the most severe. Since 2008, ministry inspectors have conducted more than 345,000 field visits, 46 inspection blitzes and issued more than 560,000 compliance orders in Ontario workplaces.

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