The Ontario government has committed an additional C$2 million ($1.3 million) to the enforcement of newly implemented exposure limits for hazardous chemicals in the workplace, according to the Ontario Ministry of Labour.
The extra funding for enforcement is needed to ensure compliance with the significantly tightened occupational exposure limits introduced by the government in the first major overhaul of Ontario''s workplace exposure standards since 1986, said Labour Minister Chris Stockwell.
"This announcement ensures that Ontario workers are protected by OELs that are current and up-to-date," said Stockwell. "Lower exposure limits will result in fewer occupational illnesses among Ontario workers and lower compensation costs for employers in the future."
In November 1999, Ontario announced its intention to bring its workplace exposure standards into line with those recommended by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, which have been adopted by most Canadian provinces and territories, the Canadian federal government, and many states in the United States, according to the Ontario Ministry of Labour.
The new limits will be effective on Sept. 30 for 202 hazardous chemical substances.
Some 587 chemical agents are subject to occupational exposure limits under Ontario''s Occupational Health and Safety Act.
by Virginia Sutcliffe