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Manufacturing High Risk Strategy

The injury rate and serious injury rate in the manufacturing sector are above the provincial injury rate, and the risks that drive serious injuries in this sector are highly fragmented. The top 7 general risks represent 56 percent of all the manufacturing claims, and the top risk (caught in or struck by machinery or conveyors) represents 18 percent of all serious injury claims in manufacturing.

Therefore, the 2018-2020 Manufacturing High Risk Strategy (HRS) will address a significant number of risks to have an impact on the serious injury rate.

Combustible dust, particularly in sawmills and pellet mills, has been a critical issue over the past several years. However, other fire and explosions hazards may also be present in other manufacturing subsectors. Inspections associated with the Manufacturing HRS will address fire and explosions hazards, including combustible dust, where appropriate.


The goals of the 2018-2020 HRS are to:

  • Reduce serious injury and fatal injury rates in the manufacturing industry
  • The strategy will address the risks of serious injury from these seven strategic focus areas:
    • Safeguarding and lockout
    • Powered tools
    • Hand tools (knives)
    • Material handling (falling objects)
    • Falls from elevation
    • Falls on same level
    • Mobile equipment

Additional risk areas are fire and explosion risks.


The HRS approach will be to assist employers in strengthening their safety management system by focusing on risk reduction — taking a two-pronged approach of inspection-based engagements and employer self-evaluations.

Officers will focus on the top 15 classification units (CUs) that are at risk for serious injury, and evaluate whether the employer:

  • Identifies hazards and risks
  • Implements effective and compliant controls
  • Develops safe work procedures, programs, and policies
  • Provides related instruction, training, and supervision
  • Conducts effective inspections
  • Performs effective accident investigations
  • Engages the joint health and safety committee or worker health and safety representative

2019 additional focus

When we developed the 2018–2020 HRS, we recognized that within the three-year timeframe we would need to retain flexibility to add additional focus areas. In 2019, an additional focus is on preventing slips, trips, and falls. An analysis shows that they occur across all CUs within the manufacturing sector.

Factors that contribute to slips, trips, and falls are often seasonal or indirectly related to the manufacturing process. There appears to be a complacency and acceptance of the risk, so we will survey employers and workers to ensure we provide effective slip, trip, and fall prevention resources.

Deliverables and timelines



Inspection-based engagements
Q1–Q4 2019

  • All locations selected will be inspected at least once by their regional officer. The inspection will focus on the serious injury risks from the seven strategic focus areas that are most applicable to each location
  • In addition, all locations will have fire and explosion risks evaluated as a part of the inspection
  • Slips, trips, and fall risks will be discussed as appropriate
  • Officers will follow up as needed to assist employers in strengthening their safety management systems to reduce their risks

Combustible dust workplace inspections
Q1–Q4 2019

  • A selected group of sawmills will receive at least one inspection by the combustible dust team officers

Employer self-evaluations
Q1–Q4 2019

  • Locations selected for employer self-evaluations will be engaged by their regional officer starting in Q1 and provided an option to self-evaluate their safety management system in relation to one or more of the serious injury focus areas and their fire and explosion risks

Outreach and education

Safeguarding resource development
Q1–Q4 2019

  • Develop and distribute machine- and industry-specific safeguarding safety bulletins
  • Facilitate at least two industry workshops on safeguarding and lockout

Slip, trip and fall surveys reviewed (employers and workers)
Q1 2019

  • A sampling of employers and workers in the manufacturing industry will be surveyed to understand the current situation and recommendations from industry on how to decrease slip, trip, and fall incidents
  • The data gathered will be used to guide the resources developed in 2019

Slip, trip and fall resource
Q1 2019

  • Develop and distribute the slip, trip and fall resource

Lockout manual distribution
Q2 2019

  • Distribute the revised lockout manual to employers and industry groups

General slip, trip and fall campaign
Q2 2019

  • Develop and distribute the general slip, trip and fall campaign resources

Winter slip, trip and fall campaign
Q3–Q4 2019

  • Develop and distribute the winter focused slip, trip and fall resources

Updates and results

As part of our strategic initiative to develop measures to assess the effectiveness of prevention activities, we are providing updates of our High Risk Strategies and Industry Initiatives.

Note: To save space in bulleted lists, our update documents may refer to occupational health and safety as OHS. All references to the Act, refer to Part Three of the Workers Compensation Act. Penalties and warning letters reported in updates may have been initiated by inspections in a previous quarter.

Related resources