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Prepare For The Residential Project Provincial Blitz (Sept. 1 to Nov. 30, 2017)

September 07, 2017
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Throughout the fall of 2017, the Ministry of Labour (MoL) will be conducting an inspection blitz on residential construction projects. Some of the areas the Ministry inspectors will specifically be targeting are outlined below.

Meeting regulatory requirements: control of exposure to biological or chemical agents

An employer has to take all reasonable measures to protect workers from exposure to a hazardous chemical or biological agent.  This includes designated substances such as asbestos, lead, silica etc. With hazardous substances, an assessment is required to determine if a health risk exists for workers and whether or not a control program is required. The assessment should include the following:

  • information regarding the use, handling, storage and disposal of the designated substance
  • actual and potential exposure of workers to the substance
  • methods and procedures required to control that exposure

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Noise exposure around power equipment and other occupational health issues

Noise is one of the most common occupational health hazards encountered in the workplace. In construction, there are many noisy tasks and power equipment is one of main sources. Every employer has a duty to protect workers and take all measures reasonably necessary in the circumstances to protect workers from exposure to hazardous sound levels. This includes:

  • Measuring noise levels
  • Using appropriate engineering controls and safe work practices
  • Providing correct hearing protection, training and instruction

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Other issues covered in the blitz and how to prepare

Preparing for an MoL blitz should include a review of Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) sections and regulations that apply to your site and making sure your workers are currently meeting these requirements. It is also important to ensure that all worker documentation is present, updated and readily available for the Ministry Inspector. Inspectors can legally enter any project or workplace at any time without warrant or notice. Here are other items covered in this blitz:

  • scaffolding assembled, used and disassembled safely
  • safe stacking of roof shingles
  • safety precautions taken when trusses are installed
  • proper use of ladders
  • fall protection systems such as guardrails, appropriate fall protection protective equipment and adequate tie off points
  • ergonomic factors when moving heavy materials
  • heavy equipment operation, including line-of-sight hazards.
Get ready and most importantly, keep your workers safe!
CONTACT US : 1-888-ASK-THEM

Sources/useful links:
https://www.ontario.ca/document/construction-sector-plan-2017-2018/inspection-blitzes#residentialprojects
https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/sawo/blitzes/
https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/pubs/noise/index.php
https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/pubs/asbestos/

About the Author – T. Harris Environmental Management

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