Ministry of Labour Enforcement

In the year 2016, there were 436,851 claims for Ontario’s Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) benefits in all sectors, resulting from injuries and accidents in the workplace.

The direct cost to WSIB for each lost-time injury (LTI) in 2017 was $24,300. The indirect cost of each lost-time injury in 2017 — including re-hiring, re-training, lost productivity, etc., was $97, 200. Last year in Ontario alone there were 101 fatalities.

In 2015, the direct cost for all LTIs in the province of Ontario was $1.9 billion; and workplace injuries cost to Ontario’s economy was $15 billion for the year. An excess of $1,142 million in expenses over revenue for WSIB, according to their 2016 annual report.

Given that WSIB is a division of the Ontario Ministry of Labour, the Ministry has designed an aggressive form of enforcement that has proven to be successful to-date.

Here are the statistics:

  • In 2016 – 2017 there were 98,000 field visits by Ministry officials which resulted in 195,000 orders to comply.
  • To rapidly improve its commitment to health and safety in the workplace, in 2019, the MOL went on to hire additional inspectors. The goal is to focus exclusively on the intervention strategy.

The Ministry of Labour’s intervention strategy concentrated on Ontario firms that are at higher risk of injury rates and costs. These firms have higher injury rates that far exceed their average peers in the same industry sector. Approximately 30,000 firms have been identified.

These businesses represent only 10% of firms insured through WSIB but account for 40% of all injuries and claims costs incurred. In other words, 6,000 are considered high-risk, from the 6,000 four mandatory inspections per year by the MOL can be done.

Once an order is issued, it stipulates a completion date. The inspectors do not provide a generous time schedule to comply, because of the possibility that an accident may occur is very high.

Maintenance spearheads the process

Firms must upgrade/retrofit or improve the safety of their equipment within a very fixed time frame. Maintenance persons are usually the ones who spearhead this process. It is important to know that if the upgrades are done in haste, without consultation with operations, engineering and production personnel, the efficiency of the equipment may be jeopardized.

At the end of the process, a Pre- Start Health and Safety Review (PSR) has to be issued by that professional organization. The report must have no disclaimers, and the Professional Engineer must be able to accept the liability associated with this process.