OH NO! THE MOL INSPECTOR JUST ARRIVED!

Posted Jun 23rd, 2016 in Regulation Updates, Tips & News

OH NO! THE MOL INSPECTOR JUST ARRIVED!

Besides random or regular inspections, workplace accidents will prompt inspections. Inspectors generally have broad powers to enter a workplace, operate or test machinery, interview employees and review records.


Inspection Blitzes
by Carola Mittag,
on June 23, 2016 @ 12:00am / Updated Jan 4th, 2017


Ontario’s Ministry of Labour (MOL) has hired hundreds of new inspectors and has put renewed focus on enforcing compliance with occupational health and safety legislation. Given this climate, it’s imperative for organizations to be able to prove due diligence through sound health and safety practices. You should have procedures in place to deal with health and safety inspectors when they arrive at your workplace.

Tips for Responding to Health and Safety Inspectors

The tips below will assist your organization in ensuring that a health and safety inspection is conducted in a cooperative and transparent manner with minimal disruption to operations. 

Before an inspector arrives

  • Develop protocols for dealing with the arrival of an inspector and train key staff in those procedures.

When an inspector arrives

  • Ask for the inspector’s identification.
  • Ask the inspector what the purpose of his or her visit is. Is it a general audit, or for a specific investigation?
  • Have someone (a committee member or health and safety representative) accompany the inspector at all times.
  • Do not to obstruct an inspection which could be considered an offense; however, you may be able to make alternate arrangements for the time and date of the inspection.
  • Keep notes of everything the inspector does and says in his or her visit.
  • Remember that anything you say, even if you think it’s “off the record” may be recorded by the inspector.
  • Keep a record of all documents and other items taken by the inspector. Object if the inspector requests privileged documents.
  • Cooperate in any interviews, but consider asking the inspector to return later to conduct the interviews.
  • Ensure that everyone answers all questions to the best of their ability. “I don’t know” is an acceptable answer.
  • If you have any objections to anything the inspector is doing, note your objections on paper but don’t attempt to obstruct the inspection.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of an inspector’s visit.
  • Everything you say or do during an inspecttion is important.

Inspection Blitzes and Initiatives

This year, the MOL is coordinating the proactive enforcement blitz and initiative schedules for the Occupational Health and Safety Program and the Employment Standards Program. Coordinating these schedules highlights the importance the ministry places on protecting workers' rights under both the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Employment Standards Act (ESA), and enhancing employers' awareness of their responsibilities.

Workplace injuries and fatalities can usually be traced to a few root causes that may vary by industry sector. Occupational health and safety inspectors conduct proactive blitzes and initiatives on sector-specific hazards and are designed to raise awareness and increase compliance with the OHSA.

  • Inspectors may come multiple times. During the 2015 blitz, they made 3,396 visits to 2,704 workplaces, and issued an average of 3.38 orders per visit.
  • Inspectors will shut down operations if they believe hazards pose a danger. Last year, there were 209 stop work orders.

2016-2017 Upcoming Blitzes

FOCUS

SECTOR/BUSINESS TYPE

DATE

Facilities

Construction

Jan. 1st - Feb, 28th, 2017

Landscapers/Snow Removal

Industrial

Jan, 1st - Mar, 31st, 2017

Elevated Work Platforms in Farming

Industrial

until March 31st, 2017

IRS; MSDs; Exposure; Slips, Trips & Falls; Workplace Violence; Struck by Object Injuries

Healthcare

Until June 31st, 2017


Call us for a free evaluation of your health and safety program at 1-866-347-7707 or send us an email at info@workplacesafetygroup.com

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