More than 3,600 safety orders from Ontario blitz

Focus was on machines not properly guarded, locked out or blocked.

TORONTO — Ontario safety inspectors issued more than 3,600 violation orders related to inadequately protected machinery following a blitz of industrial workplaces from Nov. 3 to Dec. 14.

Ministry of Labour inspectors, making 821 visits at 676 workplaces involved in (for example) wood and metal fabrication, manufacturing, chemicals and plastics, and pulp and paper, issued 3,669 orders for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, including 112 stop work orders. They focused on machines that were not properly guarded, locked out or blocked.

On average, 4.47 orders were issued per workplace.

Inspectors also checked that employers were protecting workers from musculoskeletal disorders and chemical exposure, and that workplaces had a strong internal responsibility system in place to ensure worker health and safety.

The three most frequently issued orders involved a failure to: ensure pinch points and other hazardous locations on equipment had guarding devices; maintain equipment materials and protective devices in good condition; and take reasonable precautions for the protection of workers.

In 2013, 17% or 2,737 of all orders issued by inspectors under were for machine guarding and lockout violations.

In 2012, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board reported lost-time injuries for: 1,976 workers who were caught in or compressed by equipment; 305 who were rubbed or abraded by friction, pressure or jarred by vibration; and 367 workers who had body parts amputated.

Click here for more information about past safety blitzes and resources.

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