This is an important reminder about some recent/upcoming changes in health and safety legislation:
New Noise Regulations have been extended to affect all workplaces covered by the Occupational Health and Safety Act. This came into effect July 1, 2016. Changes include:
- Prescribing, for workers exposed to noise, a maximum time-weighted exposure limit of 85 decibels over an eight-hour work shift
- Requiring employers to put in place measures to reduce workers’ exposure based on a “hierarchy of controls”, which could include engineering controls, work practices, and the use of personal protective equipment in the form of hearing protection devices and
- Requiring employers who provide a worker with a hearing protection device to provide adequate training and instruction on that device.
- New workplaces covered by this regulation include:
- Construction projects
- Health care faculties
- Farming operations
- Fire services
- Police services
- Amusement parks
New Ladder Requirements in Construction. Effective July 1, 2016 a portable ladder on a construction project shall be manufactured and shall meet the design, performance, test and marking requirements of a Grade 1, Grade 1A or Grade 1AA ladder in the CSA Standard Z11-12, Portable Ladders. Ensure that all ladders meet the grade requirements, and these markings are clearly visible on the ladder. If the labels or markings are not clear, ladders must be removed from use. Any ladders, other than Grade 1, Grade 1A or Grade 1AA, MUST BE REMOVED FROM USE on all construction projects.
Changes in WHMIS Regulation. Effective July 1, 2016 Ontario amended WHMIS Regulation 860 to meet the new global standards for classifying hazardous workplace chemicals and for providing information on labels and safety data sheets. These changes are being phased in over three years. During the transition period employers are required to train workers on the old requirements as well as the new requirements WHMIS 1988 AND WHMIS 2015.
Suspended Access Equipment. Amendments will come into force January 1, 2017 that will include a requirement to notify the Ministry of Labour before using such equipment for the first time, requirements for roof and site-specific work plans, and training requirements for workers. Amendments will also include enhanced design, inspection, maintenance and technical requirements for such equipment.