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.

What we aim to do

Each year we schedule compliance initiatives in specific sectors to protect workers' rights under both the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Employment Standards Act, and enhance employers' awareness of their responsibilities.

We announce the focus of the initiatives ahead of time. However, individual workplaces that will be inspected are not notified in advance.

Health and safety in the workplace

Occupational health and safety inspectors carry out their initiatives to:

  • raise awareness of hazards
  • increase compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations

Provincial health and safety compliance initiatives focus on specific hazards or topics and have two phases.

During phase 1 of the initiatives the ministry focuses on education, outreach, and awareness:

  • we work with health and safety associations to raise awareness and provide resources, training and education to workplace parties (for example, employers, labour associations and workers) on that initiative’s focus
  • the goal is to give workplace parties tools and knowledge to comply with health and safety requirements
  • workplaces can prepare and access resources or get help before the inspection campaign starts

During phase 2 the ministry conducts a focused inspection blitz :

  • inspectors conduct field visits to check that employers are complying with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations, and to raise awareness about specific issues at the workplaces they are visiting
  • inspectors will engage with workplaces to promote compliance
  • health and safety associations will continue to provide compliance support

Employment standards in the workplace

Inspections also take place to check that employers across the province are upholding employment standards. For example, employment standards officers inspect workplaces regarding:

  • minimum wage
  • hours of work
  • overtime pay
  • public holidays
  • paid vacation

They focus on sectors where:

  • there’s a history of violations
  • vulnerable workers are employed such as
    • new and young workers
    • temporary foreign workers
    • workers in non-standard or precarious work
  • the number of people working is on the rise

Provincial health and safety compliance initiatives in 2020-21

All-sector compliance initiatives

Compliance focus Phases and timing
High risk traumatic hazards – Motor Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Hazards

What inspectors will focus on in:

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

April 1, 2020 to June 26, 2020

Compliance support with all health and safety associations

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

May 1, 2020 to June 26, 2020

Focused inspections

Healthy workers in healthy workplaces – occupational disease

What inspectors will focus on in:

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

October 1, 2020 to December 28, 2020

Compliance support with all health and safety associations

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

November 2, 2020 to December 28, 2020

Focused inspections

Construction initiatives

Compliance focus Phases and timing
Tower crane inspection and maintenance

What inspectors will focus on
August 31, 2020 to December 31, 2020
Supervision in construction

What inspectors will focus on

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

May 4, 2020 to August 7, 2020

Compliance support with the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

July 2, 2020 to August 7, 2020

Focused inspections

Excavations and Utility Contacts

What inspectors will focus on

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

September 2, 2020 to November 2, 2020

Compliance support with the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

October 1, 2020 to November 2, 2020

Focused inspections

Health care initiatives

Compliance focus Phases and timing
Safe Transition/Transfer of Care

What inspectors will focus on

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

June 1, 2020 to February 1, 2021

Compliance support with the Public Health and Safety Association

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

Part 1: September 2, 2020 to October 2, 2020

Part 2: January 4, 2021 to February 1, 2021

Focused inspections

Industrial initiatives

Compliance focus Phases and timing
Temporary Help Agencies

What inspectors will focus on

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

May 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020

Compliance support with the Workplace Safety and Prevention Services, Public Services Health and Safety Association and Workplace Safety North

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

June 29, 2020 to August 31, 2020

Focused inspections

Workplace Violence in Education

What inspectors will focus on

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021

Compliance support with the Public Services Health and Safety Association

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

February 1, 2021 to March 31, 2021

Focused inspections

Mining initiatives

Compliance focus Phases and timing
Storage, use and handling of explosives in surface and underground mines

What inspectors will focus on

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

July 15, 2020 to October 30, 2020

Compliance support with Workplace Safety North

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

August 3, 2020 to October 30, 2020

Focused inspections

Electric battery vehicles and mobile diesel equipment maintenance in mines

What inspectors will focus on

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

December 14, 2020 to March 31, 2021

Compliance support with Workplace Safety North

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

February 3, 2021 to March 31, 2021

Focused inspections

Specialized Professional Services Initiative

Compliance focus Phases and timing
Warehousing (ergonomics)

What inspectors will focus on

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021

Compliance support with Workplace Safety and Prevention Services

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

July 2, 2020 to March 31, 2021

Focused inspections

Radiation Protection initiative

Compliance focus Phases and timing
Veterinary Clinics – Training and Education

What inspectors will focus on

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

September 2, 2020 to November 2, 2020

Compliance support with Radiation Safety Institute of Canada (RSIC) and Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA)

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

October 1, 2020 to November 2, 2020

Focused inspections

Provincial health and safety compliance initiatives in 2019-20

All-sector compliance initiatives

Compliance focus Phases and timing
High risk traumatic hazards - slips, trips and falls

What inspectors will focus on in:

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

March 18 – July 12, 2019

Compliance support with all health and safety associations

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

April 15 – July 12, 2019

Focused inspections

Healthy workers in healthy workplaces – musculoskeletal disorders and respiratory hazards

What inspectors will focus on in:

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

September 1 – December 27, 2019

Compliance support with all health and safety associations

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

October 1 – December 27, 2019

Focused inspections

Construction initiatives

Compliance focus Phases and timing
Suspended access equipment

What inspectors will focus on

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

July 2 – September 27, 2019

Compliance support with Infrastructure Health and Safety Association

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

August 6 – September 27, 2019

Focused inspections

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

What inspectors will focus on

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

January 6 – March 13, 2020

Compliance support with Infrastructure Health and Safety Association

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

February 3 – March 13, 2020

Focused inspections

Health care initiatives

Compliance focus Phases and timing
Workplace violence prevention)

What inspectors will focus on

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awarenessJuly 22 – September 27, 2019

Compliance support with Public Services Health and Safety Association

Phase 2: Inspection blitz August 19 – September 27, 2019

Focused inspections

Group homes

What inspectors will focus on

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

January 20 – March 13, 2020

Compliance support with Public Services Health and Safety Association

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

February 3 – March 13, 2020

Focused inspections

Industrial initiatives

Compliance focus Phases and timing
New and young workers

What inspectors will focus on

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

May 1 – August 30, 2019

Compliance support with Workplace Safety and Prevention Services and Workplace Safety North

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

July 15 – August 30, 2019

Focused inspections

Machine guarding

What inspectors will focus on

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

January 20 – March 31, 2020

Compliance support with Workplace Safety and Prevention Services

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

February 18 – March 31, 2020

Focused inspections

Mining initiatives

Compliance focus Phases and timing
Ground Control

What inspectors will focus on

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

July 15 – September 27, 2019

Compliance support with Workplace Safety North

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

August 6 – September 27, 2019

Focused inspections

Emergency preparedness self-audit

What inspectors will focus on

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

December 16, 2019 – March 27, 2020

Compliance support with Workplace Safety North

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

February 3 – March 27, 2020

Focused consultations and compliance assistance

Cross-sector initiatives

Compliance focus Phases and timing
Municipalities (ergonomics)

What inspectors will focus on

Phase 1: Education, outreach and awareness

April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2020

Compliance support with Public Services Health and Safety Association

Phase 2: Inspection blitz

April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020

Focused inspections

Provincial employment standards compliance initiatives in 2019-20

Initiative Focus and timing
Protecting vulnerable workers

September 1, 2019 - February 14, 2020

The ministry will inspect workplaces and educate employers about their obligations under the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act (EPFNA). Employment Standards Officers (ESOs) will focus on:

  • repeat violators: previously violated standards
  • temporary help agencies: standards that relate to pay periods, wage statements and record keeping, and
  • workplaces that employ temporary foreign workers: standards that relate to pay periods, wage statements, record keeping and EPFNA (i.e. illegal fees, recovery of costs by employer, withholding of documents)

Read the reports

We report the results of compliance initiatives, usually within 90 days.

2020-2021

Health and safety

2019-2020

Health and safety

Employment standards

2018-19

Health and safety

Employment standards

2017-18

Health and safety

Employment standards

Updated: August 19, 2021
Published: March 31, 2017