Ontario will continue its efforts to reduce workplace injuries by focusing on construction site electrical hazards during an October workplace safety blitz.
Ministry of Labour inspectors will visit construction sites across the province looking for electrical hazards that could cause workplace injuries or fatalities.
Inspectors will check that electrical power is disconnected before work begins, that appropriate lock-out procedures are being used, and that workers otherwise are protected if power cannot be disconnected.
The blitz is one of many being conducted under the province’s proactive “Safe At Work Ontario” strategy to promote compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
For each conviction under the act, the court can impose a fine of up to $500,000 against a corporation.
Individuals can be fined up to $25,000 or imprisoned up to 12 months, or both.
Keeping workers safe means increased productivity for Ontario’s economy and reduced strain on the health care system.
“The McGuinty government and our workplace partners are working to eliminate workplace injuries,” said Labour minister Peter Fonesca.
“There is only one acceptable injury rate—and that’s zero,” he stressed.
A 2004-08 ministry compliance program helped reduce workplace lost-time injury rates by 20 percent, or more than 50,000 incidents.
In 2007, three of the 15 construction-sector fatalities were related to electrical hazards.
There was one electricity-related fatality in 2008 and one so far in 2009.