OHS Canada Magazine

Construction PPE focus of latest Ontario safety blitz

Blitz will include roadwork projects


Construction worksite PPE is the subject of Ontario’s latest safety blitz. (Aleksandar Kosev/Adobe Stock)

Construction sites are the focus of the latest Ontario government safety blitz, launched Feb. 4.

Inspectors will focus on personal protective equipment (PPE), which can include high visibility clothing, skin protection such as gloves, face shields, eye protection and hearing protectors.

Without this equipment, workers can suffer cuts, punctures, chemical burns, electric shocks, exposure to excessive noise or vibration and many other harmful risks, according to a government news release.

“We’re doing this to save lives,” says Labour Minister Monte McNaughton. “One death on a jobsite is one too many. I want everyone in this province to know we’re doing our best to ensure that their loved ones come home safe after a hard day’s work.”

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The blitz — which runs until March 13 — follows four weeks of outreach to the construction sector to educate and assist in safety compliance.

Roadwork projects will also be paid a visit.

“Everyone has a role here,” says McNaughton. “Employers have to provide equipment to their workers and workers have to wear it properly.”

The blitz is part of the government’s Safe At Work Ontario strategy. The goal is to improve worker health and safety by helping employers comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations.

 In 2017, the ministry issued more than 7,000 orders for lack of PPE, making it the second highest violation on construction workplaces for that year, behind only falls from heights.