Ontario Health and Safety Compliance Initiatives: 2023-2024 Schedule

What are Health and Safety Compliance Initiatives?

Every year, the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) schedules health and safety compliance initiatives that focus on workplace hazards within specific sectors. Often these initiatives are referred to as inspection blitzes or inspection initiatives.

As part of these initiatives, occupational health and safety inspectors visit thousands of workplaces in Ontario to make sure employers are complying with occupational safety laws. Last year, in 2022, inspectors conducted over 76,022 inspections and issued over 95,847 orders.

The purpose of compliance initiatives is to:

  1. Protect employees’ rights under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Employment Standards Act
  2. Raise awareness of hazards in the workplace and employers’ responsibilities

The MLITSD announces the focus of compliance initiatives in advance. Individual workplaces that will be inspected are not notified in advance.

Learn how to prepare for MLITSD inspections.

What are MLITSD inspectors focusing on in 2023-2024?

Below are some compliance initiatives and sectors the MLITSD will be focusing on in 2023 and 2024.

Falls from heights in single-family residential

Inspections: April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024
Sector: Construction

The goal of this initiative is to prevent falls from heights in single and multi-family residential construction projects such as roofing and framing activities.

Inspectors will be checking:

  • Whether employees have completed the required working at heights training
  • Use of fall protection pre-planning
    Guardrail systems
  • The effectiveness of the Internal Responsibility System (IRS)

Struck-by equipment in specific settings

Inspections: April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024
Sector: Construction

From 2015-2023, there have been 228 critical injuries as a result of employees being:

  • Struck by or run over by vehicles or equipment
  • Crushed between equipment and other objects
  • Struck by material moved by construction equipment

This initiative will focus on activities where employees could be struct by material, vehicles or equipment to prevent “struck-by” incidents.

Inspectors will be checking:

  • Equipment is being safely operated, maintained, and inspected
  • Materials are being safely stored and handled
  • Whether employees have training for material handling activities

Prevention of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)

Inspections: June 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024
Sector: Healthcare

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are one of the most common lost-time injuries in Ontario’s healthcare sector. The goal of this initiative is to prevent MSDs and ensure that workplaces are taking precautions to protect employees from MSDs.

Inspectors will check whether employees are protected from MSDs when they are doing activities such as:

  • Providing care to clients
  • Handling materials such as laundry or moving heavy objects
  • Responding to situations such as client falls, fire alarms, or evacuations

Materials Handling

Inspections: May 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024
Sector: Industrial

This initiative will focus on manufacturing and farming workplaces where large objects are lifted, carried, or moved. The goal of this initiative is to raise awareness of material handling hazards and prevent employees from being injured when large objects are being moved.

Inspectors will visit workplaces that belong to these sectors:

  • Agricultural services and farming
  • Automotive
  • Chemical, rubber and plastics
  • Food, beverage and tobacco
  • Industrial services
  • Primary metals
  • Pulp and paper
  • Transportation
  • Wood and metal fabrication

Here are some of the areas that inspectors will focus on during an inspection:

  • The effectiveness of the Internal Responsibility System (IRS)
  • Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC) representation
  • Training provided by the employers (for example, supervisor competency training, worker awareness training, JHSC training for committee members)
  • Safety of lifting devices/mobile equipment/cranes
  • Manual material handling
  • Machine guarding, blocking and lockout
  • Workplace layout and design including storage systems

How can your workplace prepare for an inspection?

Planning for an inspection will help keep your workplace compliant and improve the safety of your employees.

Here are some resources to help you learn more about inspections and get your workplace inspection-ready:

Ensure your workplace is compliant with a Gap Audit

An OSG Gap Audit will help you identify any changes you need to make to your health and safety program or processes to pass an MLITSD inspection.

With a Gap Audit, we provide you with personalized advice on what’s working and what needs immediate attention to keep your workplace safe and compliant.

Get Started With A Gap Audit