Inspection blitz results: New and young workers 2017
Results of a province-wide, summer enforcement blitz that targeted workplaces employing new and young workers.
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During a blitz from May 1 to August 31, 2017, Ministry of Labour inspectors:
- conducted 2,261 proactive visits and 219 field visits in a support role
- visited 1,779 workplaces
- issued 6,828 orders
footnote 2under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations, including 88 stop work orders
Inspectors checked that employers were complying with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations.
The goals of the inspection blitz were to:
- make sure employers advise new and young workers of hazards in the workplace
- raise awareness of the OHSA rights and responsibilities for new and young workers
- encourage employers to identify and control hazards
- address and remedy non-compliance with the OHSA and its regulations
- deter non-compliant employers
- enhance health and safety partnerships
- promote improved health and safety for new and young workers
New and young workers in Ontario are three times more likely to be injured during their first month on the job than at any other time.
Between May 1 to August 31, 2017, Ministry of Labour inspectors conducted an enforcement blitz in industrial sector workplaces focusing on:
- young workers aged 14 to 24 and
- new workers
footnote 3who were on the job for less than six months or assigned to a new job
Between 2012 and 2016, 30 young workers aged 15 to 24 died in work-related incidents, according to Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) statistics.
Workplace inspection blitzes
Inspection blitzes are part of our Safe At Work Ontario compliance strategy. We announce to the sector, in advance, that we will be doing a blitz. Individual workplaces are not notified in advance. The results of the blitz are typically posted online, within 90 days. Inspectors' findings may impact the number and level of future inspections of individual workplaces.
Inspectors may also refer employers to health and safety associations for compliance assistance and training.
During the blitz, inspectors focused on workplaces where new and young workers were employed, including:
- retail establishments
- food, beverage and tobacco plants
- tourism, hospitality and recreation facilities
The inspectors focused on the following:
- information, instruction and supervision: Inspectors checked that new and young workers were being given, by the employer, the required information, instruction (e.g. training) and supervision to protect workers’ health and safety when starting a job and that they were receiving supervision.
- minimum age requirements: Inspectors checked whether workers met minimum age requirements.
- safety measures: Inspectors checked that employers had in place measures and procedures to prevent injuries and occupational illness. In addition, inspectors checked that employers were meeting requirements for protecting workers from workplace violence and harassment.
Inspection activity summary
- 2,261 field visits
- 219 field visits in a support role
- 1,779 workplaces visited
- 6,828 orders issued
footnote 4for a number of violations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations
- 88 stop work orders issued
- 93 requirements issued to provide an inspector with information related to the workplace
- an average of 3.84 orders and requirements issued per workplace visited
- an average of 3.02 orders and requirements issued per field visit
During the blitz, orders were issued for various violations under the OHSA and following regulations:
- Regulation for Industrial Establishments (Reg. 851)
- Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation (O. Reg. 297/13)
- Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) Regulation (Reg. 860)
- Roll-Over Protective Structures Regulation (Reg. 856)
- Noise Regulation (O. Reg. 381/15)
- Designated Substances Regulation (O. Reg. 490/09)
- Designated Substance – Asbestos On Construction Projects and In Buildings and Repair Operations Regulation (O. Reg. 278/05)
- Confined Spaces Regulation (O. Reg. 632/05)
- Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents Regulation (Reg. 833)
|Sector||Orders issued||Stop work orders issued||Workplaces visited||Field visits||Field visits in a support role|
|Tourism, hospitality and recreational services||659||19||120||152||16|
|Wood and metal fabrication||579||6||110||142||20|
|Food, beverage and tobacco||549||4||118||175||18|
|Vehicle sales and service||369||12||79||100||18|
|Offices and related services||116||0||35||40||2|
The most frequently issued OHSA orders involved employers’ failure to:
- post in the workplace a copy of the OHSA and any explanatory material provided by the Ministry of Labour [s. 25(2)(i)] – 452 orders or 6.6% of total orders
- maintain equipment in good condition [s. 25(1)(b)] – 427 orders or 6.3%
- take reasonable precautions to protect workers’ health and safety [s. 25(2)(h)] – 332 orders or 4.9%
- prepare and review, at least annually, a written occupational health and safety policy, and develop and maintain a program to implement that policy [s. 25(2)(j)] – 290 orders or 4.2%
- have a workplace health and safety representative at the workplace [s. 8(1)] – 236 orders or 3.5%
- post the employer’s workplace violence and harassment policies in the workplace [s. 32.0.1(2)] – 197 orders or 2.9%
- provide information, instruction and supervision to protect workers' health and safety [s. 25(2)(a)] – 157 orders or 2.3%
- post a copy of the occupational heath and safety policy in the workplace [s. 25(2)(k)] – 133 orders or 1.9%
- have a health and safety representative do an inspection of the workplace [s. 8(6)] – 129 orders or 1.9%
- develop and maintain a program to implement the workplace harassment policy [32.0.6(1)] – 127 orders or 1.9%
A total of 1,182 orders were issued under PART III.0.1 of the OHSA provisions for workplace violence and harassment. They involved failure of employers to comply with requirements to:
- have workplace violence and harassment policies and programs in place
- provide information and instruction on those policies and programs
- assess or re-assess the risks of workplace violence arising from the nature of the workplace, type of work or conditions of work
As part of checking for worker training and appropriate supervision in workplaces, 762 orders were issued under the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation for violations involving:
- basic occupational health and safety awareness training for workers [s. 1] – 420 orders or 6.2% of total orders
- basic occupational health and safety awareness training for supervisors [s. 2] – 333 orders or 4.9%
- maintaining records of basic occupational health and safety awareness training [s. 4] – 9 orders or 0.1%
A total of 1,674 orders were issued under the following sections of the Regulation for Industrial Establishments:
- housekeeping [s. 11 to 20] – 311 orders or 4.6% of total orders
- fire safety [s. 22 to 23] – 28 orders or 0.4%
- machine guarding [s. 24 to 44.2] – 312 orders or 4.6%
- material handling [s. 45 to 66] – 615 orders or 9%
- maintenance and repairs [s. 72 to 78] – 67 orders or 1%
- personal protective equipment [s. 79 to 86] – 92 orders or 1.3%
- buildings [s. 120 to123] – 66 orders or 1%
- industrial hygiene [s. 124 to 139] – 181 orders or 2.7%
A total of 88 stop work orders were issued. This represented about 1.3 per cent of all orders issued.
No orders were issued for failure to comply with minimum age requirements under the Regulation for Industrial Establishments.
The blitz results indicate new and young workers continue to be exposed to many similar hazards in workplaces across all sectors, regardless of the size of the workplace or nature of business. Most orders were issued in the retail, restaurant, tourism, hospitality and recreational services sectors (see above table).
Continued enforcement is needed to improve the health and safety of all new and young workers in all sectors.
The ministry also needs to continue to target new worker safety during routine workplace inspections of Ontario’s industrial workplaces. Inspectors will continue to check that new and young workers:
- are informed, instructed and supervised, as required
- are working in accordance with the OHSA requirements
- meet minimum age requirements under the Regulation for Industrial Establishments
- have received verifiable basic occupational health and safety awareness training
The ministry will continue to raise awareness of new and young workers’ health and safety in Ontario workplaces.
A key to workplace health and safety in Ontario is the internal responsibility system (IRS). One of the primary purposes of the OHSA is to facilitate a strong IRS in the workplace. The OHSA sets out the duties of workplace parties. It is essential for workplace parties to comply with their statutory duties to establish and maintain a strong IRS in the workplace.
Workplace parties are encouraged to work together to identify and control hazards that new and young workers may be exposed to.
Help for employers
Please contact our health and safety partners for more information on identifying, preventing and controlling these hazards.
See health and safety awareness products and training for workplace parties.
For more information contact the Ministry of Labour Health & Safety Contact Centre at
Always call 911 immediately in an emergency.
- footnote Back to paragraph Field visits in a support role are activities where a professional services staff (e.g., hygienist, ergonomist, engineer etc.), or another inspector accompanies an inspector on a field visit to provide professional support or expertise.
- footnote Back to paragraph Includes stop work orders and requirements.
- footnote Back to paragraph Includes both “young workers” aged 14 to 24 and workers aged 25 and older.
- footnote Back to paragraph Includes stop work orders and requirements.