You’d think OHS enforcers would cut employers some slack for COVID-19. In fact, OHS enforcement has actually intensified across much of the country since the pandemic began. Although in-person inspections are way down, OHS agencies and workers’ comp boards remain very much open to field calls and complaints, which are apparently coming in at unusually high volumes.
The Ontario MOL Mobilizes
Ontario has been particularly aggressive, adding 58 new MOL inspectors during the pandemic. As of April 29, MOL inspectors had completed 5,158 workplace visits and issued 1,822 COVID-19-related orders, including 18 stop-work orders. The agency is also carrying out its usual provincial targeted inspection initiatives. The m.o.: After Phase 1 education and outreach efforts, the MOL performs roughly 6 weeks of workplace inspections of targeted industries to ensure compliance with OHS rules.
|All||Motor Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Hazards||May 1 to June 26, 2020|
|Industrial||Temporary Help Agencies||June 29 to Aug. 31, 2020|
|Construction||Supervision in Construction||July 2 to Aug. 7, 2020|
|Specialized Professional Services||Warehousing (ergonomics)||July 2, 2020 to March 31, 2021|
|Mining||Storage, use and handling of explosives in surface and underground mines||Aug. 3 to Oct. 30, 2020|
|Health Care||Safe Transition/Transfer of Care||Sept. 2 to Oct. 2, 2020 (Phase 1)|
|Construction||Excavations and Utility Contacts||Oct. 1 to Nov. 1, 2020|
|Radiation Protection||Veterinary Clinics – Training and Education||Oct. 1 to Nov. 2, 2020|
|All||Healthy workers in healthy workplaces – occupational disease||Nov. 2 to Dec. 28, 2020|
|Health Care||Safe Transition/Transfer of Care||Jan. 4 to Feb. 1, 2021 (Phase 2)|
|Industrial||Workplace Violence in Education||Feb. 1 to March 31, 2021|