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112 stop work orders issued in Ontario machine safety blitz


April 14, 2015
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Apr. 14, 2015 – Ontario inspectors issued 3,669 orders — which includes 112 stop work orders — for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations during a recent safety blitz that focused on machines that were not properly guarded or locked out during maintenance, repair and other activities.

The inspectors visited almost 700 workplaces in the industrial sector, such as wood and metal fabrication, manufacturing, chemical and plastics, and pulp and paper, in the Ministry of Labour blitz that took place from November 3 to December 14, 2014. They checked that employers were taking appropriate action to assess and address possible hazards involving machines that were not properly guarded, locked out or blocked.

“Workers can suffer serious injuries such as amputation of limbs or even death if machines have improper or missing guards or if improper lockout procedures are used,” said George Gritziotis, chief prevention officer. “We’re working to improve the health and safety of workers in Ontario. But we can’t do it alone. Government, employers, workers and others must share the responsibility to keep workplaces safe.”

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

“Since 2003, the number of injuries in Ontario workplaces has decreased by 40 per cent, but blitzes like this show that more can be done and needs to be done to ensure the health and safety of all workers,” said Kevin Flynn, minister of labour. “These blitz results send a strong message that non-compliance continues to be a problem in many industrial workplaces, and it will not be tolerated by the Ministry of Labour. Ontario workers deserve to return home safe and sound after a hard day’s work, and we will persist in our efforts to ensure they do.”