In response to COVID-19, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development plans to adjust the current 2020-21 health and safety compliance initiative schedule. Further updates will be provided as necessary.

We thank you for your continued efforts in keeping workplaces safe in Ontario during this time.

Overview

Health and safety inspection initiatives are part of the province’s Safe At Work Ontario compliance strategy.

These initiatives are announced to sectors in advance. However, individual workplaces are not identified in advance.

Results from provincial initiatives are posted on the ministry’s website. The initiatives are intended to raise awareness of workplace hazards and promote compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations.

As part of the Safe At Work Ontario strategy, the ministry decides on the focus of initiatives using a risk-based process. This process takes into account:

  • injury, illness and fatality rates
  • compliance history
  • the nature of the work (for example, hazards that come with the job)
  • current events
  • the vulnerability of the workers
  • strategic priorities
  • advice from stakeholders and the field

The focuses can be on specific sectors, hazards, issues or topics.

Ergonomists will support the construction, health care, industrial and mining sector initiatives, including two all-sector initiatives for:

  • motor vehicle and mobile equipment hazards
  • healthy workers healthy workplaces occupational health initiative

Ergonomics – warehousing

Phase 1: Compliance assistance

Dates: April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021

Partner: Workplaces Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS)

Phase 2: Focused inspections

Dates: July 2, 2020 to March 31, 2021

Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) ergonomists will conduct proactive inspections in warehouses, as well as workplaces that have a warehousing area (for example, larger retail stores).

Rationale

Injury data from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) warehousing rate group shows that:

  • musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) and lost-time injury (LTI) rates were above the provincial average in 2018
  • the MSD rate (number of MSDs per 100 full-time workers) has risen from 0.46 in 2014 to 0.71 in 2018
  • 42% of all injuries were MSDs in 2018

Initiative focus

Ergonomists will focus on the following key priorities:

  • musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) prevention
  • manual material handling on ladders
  • visibility hazards

Resources and compliance support

Other inspection focuses

Ergonomics

Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development ergonomists will also focus on workplaces that have a history of MSDs. The ministry will develop a list of workplaces from Workplace Safety and Insurance Board data. They will be looked at based on their MSD history and whether or not they have received a previous proactive inspection focusing on MSD prevention.

Resources and compliance support

The ministry’s ergonomics in the workplace page explains occupational health and safety laws related to ergonomics and includes resources and guidance on ways to address hazards from poor ergonomics.

Updated: July 30, 2021
Published: April 08, 2020