Don't risk it. Site safety that must be followed.

Construction Site Safety in Toronto

Like any other industry, construction firms need to take safety seriously – maybe even more so considering the nature of the work. When it comes to health and safety around the work site you have a responsibility to always be aware of the danger you are possibly placing yourself in... whether you be worker, employer, client or visitor.

We put together this article to guide you through the dangers of construction and renovation site safety in Toronto. So, read on to make sure you are always safe!!

Your Duty On Site

When you sign a new contract either as an employer or a construction firm, you are committing yourself to all sorts of outlined parameters that the other party expects you to live up to. Most of the time, the only nod towards safety measures found in the contract are the public liability insurance you have in place combined with your registration with the WSIB. Without these two pieces of information the client has every right to reject your work offer.

Not contained within that contract is a whole unspoken agreement of which each party expects the other to be 'safe' while on site. But what does it actually entail to be safe on site? We looked at the finer points so you didn't have to go looking!

Personal Protective Equipment

Without question; personal protective equipment is the basis of any safe construction project. This means that anyone dealing with potential contaminations be given the appropriate suits, that those dealing with chemicals wear effective gloves and that anyone doing welding wears a mask. There are many, many facets to this. A primary stipulation should be that no person be allowed on site without a hard hat and a high-vis jacket.

Personal protective equipment also covers things like steel toed boots, safety goggles and any kind of speciality equipment such as breathing masks. If you expect people to cut away brick dust you must ensure their safety while they do it. If you want worker's to happily work on your project then obeying safety rules is key.

More importantly for your business, The Ministry of labour have their own inspectors liable to pop in and check the safety of your site at any moment. If you get caught making serious safety violations you may be fined. Make sure that all of your workers and any visitors to the site are properly attired and don't take any chances. A man without a hard hat is in serious danger during construction projects, don't let yourself be victim to a fine.

Designated Substance Survey

This litigation deals with the ability of a company to safely remove substances such as Asbestos from a home. Any substance or chemical which presents an active threat to the health of workers or any other occupants of the home is completely illegal. The best way to deal with chemicals when you encounter them is to call in the experts. You must obtain a DSS report to ensure a site is safe before you proceed, or face legal implications.

MSDS and Whimis

The MSDS is a guide to managing Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems, or Whimis. These contain detailed information on the way employers should handle hazardous materials to keep everyone protected. This is the ruling that forces us to put appropriate labels on toxic goods and protected the Canadian workforce from a huge number of injuries back in 1988 when the program first began. You can download a copy of employer's Whimis from the Ontario Official Website, here.

What clients need to know?

Clients don't need to know about all of this information. All they really need to check is that the contractor in question has active public liability insurance and is a member of the WSIB in Ontario. This system protects the rights of workers when they are on the job and provides ample safety information to all registered construction firms in Toronto. If a contractor does not have a letter of clearance from the WSIB, or if they do not have insurance, then look elsewhere because you may be jeopardising your project by working with them any farther.

You can take the opportunity to ask about Whimis and employee protective gear during your interview with the new contractor, or you can detail in the contract that you require proof of such. This is entirely up to you and is not a legal necessity, but it may help to protect you should anything go wrong.

What builders need to comply with?

Builders need to comply with all of the above, as well as registering with WSIB Ontario and keeping up payments to ensure their workers are insured for any on the job accidents that may happen through no fault of their own. Construction is difficult and harder still to keep safe – but as a builder you have a responsibility, not only to your crew, but to your client, to the city and to the CHBA. Follow the rules or find yourself fined, it is a simple prospect.

The Ministry of Labour

The Ministry of Labour in Ontario operate to prevent workplace illnesses and injuries and are the driving force behind much of the workplace safety measures in construction around Toronto. They are the people that settle disputes and maintain employment standards, workplace health and safety and labour relations within Ontario. They work closely with other Health and Safety Associations as well as the construction focused ones, and are generally regarded as the experts on all thing’s workplace safety.

When you fail to comply with building safety regulations these are also the people who will close you down at the drop of a hat. So, consider yourselves warned and drop in to their webpage to familiarize yourself with everything you need to know.