Ministry Of Labour Blitz on Infection Prevention and Control

November 17, 2011

From -- As part of their Safe at Work Ontario strategy, the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) is conducting an Infection Prevention and Control heightened enforcement campaign at healthcare organizations throughout the month of November.

This campaign, otherwise known as a blitz will see MOL inspectors and infection control specialists conducting both scheduled and unscheduled visits to healthcare facilities. As stated in a recent background information document, Ministry inspectors will check for contraventions to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Health Care and Residential Facilities Regulation, Needle Safety Regulation, and Other regulations as needed. These contraventions involve, but are not limited to, an employer’s responsibility to protect workers, such as establishing safe work practices, providing worker training and ensuring personal protective equipment is used and maintained. Particular focus will be paid to certain priority areas, including: Employer Duties:
  • Ensure all reasonable precautions are taken to protect the health and safety of workers from infection hazards.
  • Report occupational illnesses to the MOL, trade union (if any) and the workplace’s Joint Health and Safety Committee.
Safe Work Practices:
  • Employers develop practices such as respirator fit-testing, safe use and disposal of sharps, maintenance of ventilation systems, and cleaning and disinfection, for the protection of workers from infection hazards.
  • Workers follow the safe work practices and use the required personal protective equipment.
  • Workplace parties inspect the workplace for infection hazards.
Personal Protective Equipment and Safety Devices:
  • Proper use and maintenance of personal protective equipment, for example gloves, eye protection and respirators.
  • Workers access to appropriate hygiene facilities.
  • Safe handling and using safety-engineered needles.
Worker Information, Education and Training:
  • Worker awareness of infection hazards in the workplace and training in the safe handling, storage, use, disposal and transport of infectious agents.
  • Workers have appropriate information, instruction and supervision to protect their health and safety.