What MLTSD Inspectors are Focusing on in 2020

Every year the Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development (MLTSD)* inspects thousands of workplaces to see if they are operating in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations (OHSA). And every year, their inspectors hand out thousands of orders for non-compliance. In 2018 alone, inspectors issued 17,534 orders.

The Ministry has announced the following initiatives for 2020, with the goal of protecting worker’s safety as well as enhancing employer’s awareness of their responsibilities:

Personal Protective Equipment 

Inspections: February 3 to March 13, 2020

Types of workplaces: 

  • Industrial
  • Construction (commercial, institutional, and residential)
  • Civil engineering
  • Roadwork

Man working with wood wearing hearing protection and gloves

What Inspectors Will Be Looking For

Inspectors will be checking that appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is being supplied and worn. PPE should be provided to workers wherever there are health or safety risks that cannot be eliminated or adequately controlled using other methods. Personal protective equipment can include:

  • Respirators
  • Hearing protection
  • Skin protection devices such as gloves
  • High visibility clothing
  • Face shields
  • Eye protection devices such as eye shields or safety glasses

If your organization relies on PPE to help control hazards, you should ensure that:

  • PPE is only used in instances where the hazard could not be controlled using other methods (ex. engineering controls)
  • You have a policy in place and have also provided training so workers understand what PPE must be worn when it’s required, and how it must be worn and maintained
  • Workers are wearing PPE whenever it’s required and maintaining it
  • You have standards for fit, inspection, maintenance, replacement and training
  • You have a system to audit compliance with company or regulatory requirements.
  • A process is in place and followed if workers do not wear required PPE

Learn more about using PPE effectively.

Group Homes

Inspections: February 3 to March 13, 2020

Types of workplaces: 

  • Group homes
  • Workplaces engaged in providing residential care
  • Intensive supported residences
  • Facilities that provide support to clients and residents in residential settings

Nurse helping senior man walk

What Inspectors Will Focus On

Since people who work for group homes may do so at homes or at healthcare facilities, they can be exposed to both home-related hazards as well as health care-related ones. Therefore, inspectors have a wide range of priorities to focus on:

  • The internal responsibility system (IRS), including engaging senior leadership to strengthen management’s accountability and compliance with their legislated duties under the OHSA
  • Workplace violence
  • Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)
  • Exposures to hazardous biological, chemical and physical agents/infection prevention and control issues

Group Home employers should ensure that:

  • Senior leadership, along with all other parties of the IRS, are engaged and understand their duties under the OHSA
  • The workplace has a strong program to address workplace violence risks
  • Employers have taken appropriate action to prevent MSDs
  • Employers have developed and put in place an infection prevention program and safe work practices related to exposures

The MLTSD has more information on compliance for the health care sector.

Machine Guarding

Inspections: February 17 to March 31, 2020

Types of workplaces: 

  • Automotive
  • Food and beverage
  • Wood and metal fabrication
  • Textiles and printing
  • Chemical, rubber and plastics
  • Ceramics
  • Logging (sawmills)
  • Pulp and paper

Man entering code to lockout equipment

What Inspectors Will Be Looking For

Every year, approximately 2,000 people are injured because of machine-related incidents.  Many of these injuries and deaths could have been prevented. This February, inspectors will aim to do that by focusing on:

  • Machine guarding
  • Locking and blocking
  • Electrical hazards
  • Power line contact
  • Internal Responsibility System (IRS)

If your organization relies on machine guarding to help control hazards, you should:

  • Thoroughly inspect all machinery and equipment to ensure proper machine guarding is in place and being used appropriately
  • Established locking and blocking procedures and verify that they are being followed
  • Ensure electrical hazards are controlled
  • Establish and review procedures to address power line contact hazards to ensure they are being followed
  • Ensure that your IRS is strong – the IRS is covered in depth in Joint Health and Safety Committee Training. You can also complete an IRS checkup using the Safety Culture Tool.

Other Initiatives

The MLTSD will be running an inspection from Feb 3 until March 27, 2020, in the mining sector. The initiative is focused on a self- audit of the emergency preparedness in the mining industry

The MLTSD will also be finishing off a year-long initiative focused on Ergonomics in municipalities. These inspections began in April 2019 and will wrap up on March 31, 2020. Learn more about this initiative on the MLTSD’s website

Furthermore, the Ministry’s “Protecting Vulnerable Workers” inspections have been running since September 2019 and will be completed by February 14, 2020. Their focus is to ensure that standards related to pay are being upheld at workplaces with vulnerable workers, a group that includes young workers and temporary foreign workers. 

Additional inspections for 2020-21 are expected to be announced by the MLTSD in Spring 2020. Subscribe to our newsletter to find out about additional inspections. 

Preparing for MLTSD Inspections 

For those who have a well-run health and safety system, preparing for an MLTSD inspection will be straightforward. If you’re concerned about the prospect of an inspection because you know your organization’s health and safety system needs improvement, now is the time to do something about it! Don’t wait to take action until after an injury, incident, or MLTSD order has been issued.

OSG’s consultants can help organizations who want to improve their existing health and safety system, or we can help you develop one from scratch. Fill out the form below and someone from our team will follow-up with you to learn more about your organization’s health and safety needs. 

*The Ministry of Labour (MOL) has been amalgamated with part of another Ministry to create the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD).