From January 6 to March 13 2020, the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) will be conducting site inspections to ensure workers have the correct personal protective equipment (PPE).
At worksites across the provinces, inspectors will be checking to ensure that all PPE has been issued and is being worn in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
“As electricians, we’re very conscious of the hazards of the work we do and the dangerous nature of construction sites in general,” said James Barry, IBEW CCO Executive Secretary Treasurer. “We applaud this initiative by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development to ensure construction workers can go home safe and sound to their families at the end of every work day.”
Lack of PPE was the second most frequent violation on Ontario construction sites in 2017, according to the MLTSD. During that year, the Ministry issued 7,483 orders for lack of personal protective equipment.
The blitz is the first part of a two-phase program designed to raise awareness about PPE. The first phase, “Compliance Assistance” will focus on education in partnership with the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association. The second phase, “Focused Inspections” will run concurrently with the first, and will last from February 3 to March 13.
Personal protective equipment is designed to help manage safety risks to workers that can’t be controlled in other ways. According to the law, employers must ensure workers have been provided with the equipment they need.
While all workers must wear a hard hat and work boots on construction sites, PPE can also include:
- High-visibility clothing, particularly vests
- Eye protection
- Face shields
- Hearing protection (see this guide to noise levels and protection required)
- Skin protection (gloves and beyond)
- Respiratory protection