Ontario announces safety blitz targeting construction cranes and surface mines

Ontario announced a safety blitz this summer to increase safety at construction sites and mines in the province.

The Ministry of Labor announced that through the rest of the summer, inspectors would be visiting construction sites to check for tower and mobile crane hazards. Inspectors will also target raw material transportation activities at mining pits and quarries.

“Workers can be seriously injured or killed by hazards in workplaces,” said George Gritziotis, chief prevention officer at the Ontario Ministry of Labour. “We’re working to improve health and safety and prevent injuries and deaths at Ontario’s construction sites and surface mines.”

The blitz will send 25 Ministry of Labour inspectors to construction sites where tower and mobile cranes are in use. Additional inspectors will blitz surface mines in July. the inspectors will check for compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations, taking appropriate enforcement action should any violations be found.

The Ministry of Labour broke down the priorities of the blitz at its website:

Crane Safety Blitz

Inspectors will focus on the following key priorities:

  • Safe access and fall prevention:  Inspectors will check for the required presence and adequacy of access ladder and guardrails or other access equipment. They will also check for required fall arrest equipment to protect workers who may fall from tower cranes.
  • Proximity to overhead energized power lines: inspectors will check if the operator maintains the minimum distance of approach from overhead energized power lines, if the voltage of such power lines has been identified and if a procedure is in place to maintain the minimum distance of the crane or its load from the overhead power lines.
  • Tower crane maintenance and other records: Inspectors will check for records on the condition of the tower crane, before and after erection, including a professional engineer’s design drawings for tower crane installation. Inspectors will check that tower cranes were properly inspected prior to first use, and regularly inspected and maintained afterwards. Inspectors will also review log book entries to ensure operational functions, such as limit and overload limit switches, were properly tested.
  • Mobile crane maintenance and other records: Inspectors will check for records such as the operator log book and operator manual. Inspectors will check that cranes were inspected and maintained as required.
  • Training: Inspectors will check that mobile crane operators are certified to operate a crane at a construction site or are being instructed in crane operation and accompanied by a person who has the required certification.
  • Various other issues:  Inspectors will check on the structural, mechanical and foundational integrity of cranes, safety system, setup, proximity to people and safe hoisting practices.

and

Surface Mines Blitz

Ministry of Labour inspectors will target pits and quarries:

  • Inspectors have not visited before
  • Where concerns have been noted and
  • Where there is a poor compliance history

Inspectors will take enforcement action, as appropriate, for any contraventions found under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations.

The blitz will be held to:

  • Raise awareness of health and safety hazards
  • Ensure workplace parties are complying with the law and
  • Prevent injuries and illnesses that could arise from unsafe work practices.

Inspectors will focus on the following key priorities:

  • Traffic Control: Inspectors will check for the presence, adequacy and use of procedures to protect workers from haulage and other vehicles at pits and quarries. Training and signage must conform to Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants requirements.
  • Braking Systems: Inspectors will check if vehicle brakes are in good condition, as required by the Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants.
  • Vehicle Equipment: Inspectors will also check if steering, lights and other safety components are tested and recorded prior to initial use of vehicles for each shift, as required by the Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants.
  • Vehicle Access: Inspectors will check if vehicle ladders and steps are in good condition, as required by the Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants.

   

1 thought on “Ontario announces safety blitz targeting construction cranes and surface mines

  1. With employees’ safety at risk with materials handling and crane operations and hazards in workplaces, the safety blitz is a welcome process business owners should embrace.

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