The Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) has released its Top Ten list of violations from the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The violations cover a broad spectrum of hazards and issues.
Top 10 OHS violations of 2017
- Workplace violence and harassment (11,662 violations)
- Fall protection (9,658)
- Lack of personal protective equipment (8,318)
- Improper access and egress (6,472)
- Health and safety representative and JHSC (6,239)
- Administrative (6,007)
- Basic OHS awareness training (5,232)
- Improper use/maintenance of ladders/scaffolding (4,846)
- Lack of machine/equipment guarding (4,276)
- Housekeeping/work surfaces (4,269)
Workplace violence and harassment took the number one spot on the list.
Though some people might not realize how common these issues are, violence and harassment are quite common both in Canada and the United States. Even in the modern world we live in.
As Peter Augruso, assistant deputy minister for the MOL points out, it’s “simply unacceptable in this day and age. We have lots of work to do on this one.”
In September of 2016, legislation was passed in Ontario about workplace violence and harassment (Bill 132).
2017 is the first full year of the bill being in effect. Enforcement officers have received specific training to deal with violence and harassment. Industrial inspectors are also starting to receive training.
It’s likely that violence and harassment will be at the top of the Ministry’s radar for the next few years.
For more information about this particular topic, check out the Ministry’s informational page here.
The second most violated standard involved the topic of fall protection. In years past, this has taken the number one spot. Clearly, it is still an issue that needs to be resolved.
Lack of fall protection, or improper fall protection, is prominent in both construction and the industrial sector. But the numbers show that construction is where most of these violations take place.
In 2017, 67 percent of construction violations were for workers not being adequately protected by fall protection.
Inspection blitzes and other safety initiatives attempt to reduce these numbers. Blitzes are special inspections that focus on particular workplace safety topics. The MOL posts the blitz topics in advance, on their website. Employers are encouraged to pay attention to this information.
“We’re going to tell you what it is, we’re going to tell you the dates of it. Shame on you if we come out there and actually issue orders,” Augruso said. “We can’t do anything more than hold your hand.”
Although there is plenty of room for improvement, the Ministry feels that they’ve made strides in raising awareness on many of these issues. The MOL continues to work with companies to help them protect their workers.
Pulled from their website, the Ministry of Labour “works to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses, promotes and enforces employment standards, and helps settle workplace disputes and collective agreements in Ontario.”
For more information, visit the Ministry of Labour.
Further reading: Ontario Increases Penalties for Safety Violations