Network Magazine
HSO Network Magazine • Volume 1 • Issue 1

2010 Falls Blitz Results



The outcome of a 2010 fall blitz involving non-construction workplaces may offer insights into what to expect from the Ministry of Labour’s current year-long, all-sector campaign.

In May 2010, the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) conducted a workplace health and safety inspection blitz that focused mainly on falls from heights in these types of workplaces:

  • retailers
  • wood and metal fabrication enterprises
  • wholesalers
  • vehicle sales and service outlets
  • restaurants
  • tourism, hospitality and recreation providers.
Industrial Sector Falls Blitz Activity and
Total Industrial Sector Inspection Activity
Blitz Results
Industrial sector falls prevention blitz, May 2010
Total sector inspections, April-June 2010
Workplace visits
Stop-work orders only
Orders per visit
Stop-work orders per visit

Inspectors made 1,506 workplace visits and issued 4,208 orders, including 121 stop-work orders. Inspectors also issued 4 tickets for contraventions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Although the 2010 blitz focused mainly on fall hazards at mostly non-construction workplaces, the type of violations inspectors encountered could be found in any industry sector. Among the lessons:

  • Understand and fulfill your employer obligations under the act. A third of all orders were issued to employers for failing to fulfill their duties under section 25 of the act. Fall-related duties include ensuring that the

(a) equipment, materials and protective devices as prescribed are provided and used
(b) the equipment, materials and protective devices are maintained in good condition
(c) measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.

  • Ensure you meet requirements for joint health and safety committees or representatives. One in seven orders (13%) involved sections 8 (health and safety representative) and 9 (joint health and safety committees) of the act.
  • Maintain equipment and safety devices. Violations involving
    • equipment maintenance (section 25(1)(b) of the act): 8%
    • guardrails (sections 13 and 14 of O. Reg. 851): 3.5%
    • ladders (section 73 of O. Reg. 851): 2%


5.  Handle materials properly; 3% of orders were filed under section 45 of O. Reg. 851. The section requires that material, articles or things

(a) required to be lifted, carried or moved, shall be lifted, carried or moved in such a way and with such precautions and safeguards, including protective clothing, guards or other precautions as will ensure that the lifting, carrying or moving of the material, articles or things does not endanger the safety of any worker
(b)  shall be transported, placed or stored so that the material, articles or things
(i)  will not tip, collapse or fall
(ii) can be removed or withdrawn without endangering the safety of any worker; and
(c) to be removed from a storage area, pile or rack, shall be removed in a manner that will not endanger the safety of any worker.

Falls consistently account for one in six (17%) of Ontario’s lost-time injury claims, with no decline in sight. See claims statistics for 2000 to 2009, below


Source: Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Statistical Supplement to the 2009 Annual Report

Find out how Health & Safety Ontario can help you prevent falls.

  1. Fall Prevention Resources
  2. 2010 Falls Blitz Results
  3. Falling Incidents: Recent Court Prosecutions