In recent years, one worker died and seven were seriously injured in tower and mobile crane accidents at construction sites in Ontario, Canada. To address these safety concerns, a team of Ontario Ministry of Labour officials will conduct an inspection blitz of tower and mobile cranes throughout the province in July and August.
"Workers can be seriously injured or killed by hazards in workplaces," said George Gritziotis, chief prevention officer at the Ontario Ministry of Labour. "We're working to improve health and safety and prevent injuries and deaths at Ontario's construction sites and surface mines."
As part of this blitz, more than 25 specially trained Ministry of Labour inspectors will visit construction sites that use tower and mobile cranes. Inspectors will climb each tower crane, check for compliance and focus on hazards that could endanger the health and safety of workers. Enforcement action, as appropriate, will be taken for any violations of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations.
In particular, inspectors will focus on safe access and fall prevention; proximity to overhead energized power lines; tower crane maintenance and other records; mobile crane maintenance and other records; and training.
Of the seven injuries involving these types of cranes at construction sites in Ontario from 2007-2011, four were related to tower cranes and three were related to mobile cranes. Injuries resulted when a tower crane struck scaffolding and caused a worker to fall; when a worker was struck by hoisted material; and when a worker was pinned under a load being lowered to the ground. Close calls occurred when a tower crane broke in two; when a tower craned tipped over; rigging failure; and more.
This blitz is one of a series implemented by Safe at Work Ontario, the province’s enforcement strategy to increase compliance with the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations. A separate inspection blitz will focus on the transportation of stone, sand, gravel and other raw materials at mining pits and quarries.