Ontario blitz targets warehouses, forklifts

News Story
- 28 Nov 2013 ( #644 ) - Toronto, ON, Canada
1 min read
Inspectors will check forklift operator competency.
Inspectors will check forklift operator competency.
Inspectors for Ontario's Ministry of Labour expect to visit more than 1,000 workplaces during a February-March warehouse blitz under the province's Safe At Work program.

The ministry's program analysis, evaluation and outcomes unit reports six forklift- and reach-truck-related fatalities and 77 critical injuries in the province during the three fiscal years ended 31 March 2013.

Inspectors will look primarily at hazards for warehouse workers. They will check on racking systems installations, loading dock areas conditions, forklift maintenance efforts and forklift operator competency.

A February 2010 ministry blitz in industrial workplaces was entitled "Preventing Hazards Involving Forklifts and Lifting Devices".

About 63% of all orders issued related to the three key forklift priorities: forklift and lifting device inspection and maintenance (1,795 orders); operation of the forklift and lifting device by a qualified person (221 orders); and safe work environment (1,088 orders).

Inspectors issued the highest number of orders to employers for violations relating to examination of a lifting device to determine its capability to handle the maximum load under Section 51(1)(b) of the provincial Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). These represented more than 23% or 1,160 of all of the orders issued during the blitz. Another 9% or 448 related to maintenance of lifting devices, and 5% or 243 involved the general duty clause under OHSA Section 25(2)(h).

A ministry guideline is entitled "Safe Operation and Maintenance of Powered Lift Trucks".

Among the 10 Canadian provinces, Ontario ranked first in population at 12.9 million and first in 2011 gross domestic product at CAD654.6 billion (USD645.9 billion).
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