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Ontario wants more health and safety inspectors in the field

Labour ministry recruiting inspectors to prevent pandemic spread
MOL inspectors 2

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development is kicking off a recruiting campaign to hire more health and safety inspectors.

The province said inspectors are needed more than ever to curb the threat of COVID-19.

The ministry is targetting as many as 98, boosting the ranks from 409 to 507, the largest in the province's history.

Job ads will be posted in early October. Applicants have a month to apply. Training begins later this fall. 

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The anticipated full-year cost of the new inspectors will be $11.6 million.

Inspectors have broad powers in ensuring workpaces are adhering to occupational health and safety legislation.

These include:

-  inspect any workplace and ensure they have COVID protections in place;

-  investigate any potentially hazardous situation, critical injury, fatality and work refusal;

-  order compliance with the legislation;

-  stop unsafe work from being performed; and

-  recommend and initiate prosecutions.

"Our government is taking the steps necessary to protect Ontario workers on the job and keep our economy on the road to full recovery," said Labour, Training and Skills Development Minister Monte McNaughton in a release.

"By adding more inspectors to our team, we can respond faster to situations as they arise and help make sure that every office, plant, store and job site in this province is safe, during COVID-19 and beyond."

On the inspection front, the ministry said between March 11 and September 8 inspectors conducted 19,411 inspections and investigations related to COVID-19 and issued 16,520 orders while on those visits.