Pedestrian safety and traffic management will be the main focus during the upcoming Big Box Retail and Warehouse Blitz, October 1 to November 23, 2018. The Ministry of Labour has generally written up the highest number of workplace orders in this hazard, as its most common to the blitz focused businesses.
The focus on this is due to the fact that there is a high number of incidents & accidents involving power mobile equipment such as forklifts, aerial lifts and other mobile devices, and pedestrians.
What the MOL is looking for is a program that addresses a pedestrian safety, traffic management, mobile powered equipment and proper training.
Companies that implement a program will see fewer incidents and accidents, and will also have an easier time when dealing with the MOL inspectors.
Things to consider that may be asked are:
- Are workers receiving proper training on forklifts, aerial lifts, mobile equipment etc.?
- Do you have clearly marked pedestrian walk ways and crossing points?
- Do you have a pedestrian safety program in place?
- Do pedestrians working around mobile powered equipment receive proper training
As always, once an inspector is in your facility, they will look at your entire health & safety program which can include, but not limited to:
- Workers properly trained on overhead cranes, forklift, aerial lifts etc?
- Over 20 workers…is your Joint Health & Safety Committee in place and functioning?
- 6-19 workers…do you have your Health & Safety Representative in place and performing their duties on a regular basis?
- Are your policies and programs up to date and correct?
- Are your workers properly trained on all hazard specific topics such as; Transportation of Dangerous Goods, WHMIS 2015, lockout/tagout, confined space, to name a few?
Above are just a few of the things that the inspectors will be looking for. Inspectors do have the power to issue on the spot fines, stop work orders, orders for non- compliance and more.
For your best results, always cooperate to the fullest with the inspectors. Don’t try and deceive them in any way as you’ll find the outcomes will be drastically worse for your company.
Remember, inspectors are only doing their job to keep your workers safe and for the most part they will work with you in order to find the solutions to any issues or written orders given.
As if you needed more to think about, remember that WHMIS 2015 (Globally Harmonized System) will reach its 4th and final phase of completion on December 1, 2018. All manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers must be on the new system and employees must be properly trained.
If you have questions about any of the above topics, feel free to contact me at 905.664.4943 or email me at [email protected]