Labour Ministry plans to strengthen health, safety protections for construction workers

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The Ontario Ministry of Labour wants to strengthen health and safety protection for the province’s construction workers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

Three regulatory consultation proposals were developed by the ministry in order to describe its proposed policy direction. The Labour Ministry invites comments from the public and stakeholders.

Here are those three regulatory proposals.

Foundation Drill Rigs

The ministry is proposing to add new requirements to the Construction Projects Regulation (O. Reg. 213/91) to enhance health and safety protection of workers during the operation of rotary foundation drill rigs. The ministry is proposing to introduce new training requirements for drill rig operators, which are based on the learning outcomes and performance objectives set out in the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Foundation Drill Rig Operator Modular Training Standard. The proposal also introduces new safety measures to address key areas of drill rig operation.

Occupational Health Protection for Construction Workers

The ministry is proposing three key regulatory changes to improve worker protection from hazardous exposures to: 1) noise; 2) biological and chemical agents; and, 3) carbon monoxide released from internal combustion engines. The proposals reflect regulatory recommendations that were put forward by the construction industry’s Provincial Labour Management Health and Safety Committee (PLMHSC). The PLMHSC is an advisory committee to the Minister of Labour that is established under Section 21 of the OHSA to provide advice on health and safety concerns in the construction industry.

Miscellaneous amendments to the Construction Projects Regulation

The ministry proposes to make miscellaneous amendments to the Construction Projects Regulation to correct errors, omissions, and inconsistencies and update outdated references in the Regulation. A few of the proposed amendments are intended to provide clarity for stakeholders and improve enforcement by ministry inspectors.

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