The Ontario Ministry of Labour has launched an eight-week campaign with its Ontario Health and Safety partners, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA), with a focus on putting safety first on construction sites across the province. “Workers, supervisors and employers need to watch out for each other on construction sites. I hope these strong messages will remind them of what’s at stake. It’s about going home to your family safe and sound at the end of the work day,” stated Peter Fonseca, Ontario Minister of Labour.

What is known as the “Workplace Safety Tour” on construction sites began on July 28, 2010 with its first stop in Toronto. The tour will be making numerous stops across the province, including Hamilton, London, Kitchener, Sault Ste. Marie, Ottawa, Kingston and Peterborough. The focus of the tour is to emphasize the need for everyone on the job to be trained properly, be made aware of dangers associated with their work and to ultimately provide a safe working environment for all workers.

The safety campaign follows a recent 90-day safety enforcement blitz of more than 2,800 Ontario construction sites. During the blitz, Ontario Ministry of Labour inspectors identified many violations related to missing or inappropriate use of guardrails, scaffolding and fall protection systems and supervisor and worker training. These proactive inspection blitzes on sector-specific hazards are designed to increase awareness and compliance with health and safety legislation.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour announces these blitzes in advance and the results are reported after they are completed. The Ministry tracks each sector to determine if the blitzes result in a long-lasting increase in compliance and decrease in injuries. Upcoming blitzes for Ontario workplaces include: Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) from September 1st to October 31st for all sectors, Conveyor Guarding from November 1st to December 31st for the industrial sector, and Loading Docks from February 1st to 28th for the industrial and health care sectors.