The Ontario Ministry of Labour announced Monday its inspectors will conduct a safety blitz this month of construction sites with tower cranes, checking access and fall arrest equipment, plus inspection records and certification of operators.
A team of inspectors will target sites in the Greater Toronto and Niagara area, climbing towers and checking for compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
In particular, they will check for access ladders, guardrails and fall arrest equipment to protect workers who may fall from tower cranes.
The inspectors will also confirm crane operators are legally certified or are being instructed and accompanied by someone with the required certification.
Another priority will be maintenance records. The labour ministry stated staff will check for documentation on the condition of the tower crane, before and after erection, including engineer drawings. They plan to confirm the cranes were properly inspected prior to first use and regularly inspected and maintained afterwards. Inspectors will also review log book entries to ensure operational functions such as limit and overload limit switches were properly tested.
The blitz was announced due to concerns over injuries and close calls. Injuries have resulted from tower cranes striking scaffolding, workers being struck by materials that were being hoisted and workers being pinned by loads that were lowered.
Some close calls, which could have resulted in injuries, were caused by cranes collapsing or tipping over.