Professional Engineers Ontario

Professional Engineers Ontario

August 07, 2013 13:00 ET

Engineering Regulator Concerned Over Recent Manufacturing Accidents, Urges Government to Fulfill Commitment to Improving Workplace Safety

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 7, 2013) - Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) continues to monitor workplace accidents as they are reported and is concerned over two recent tragedies in the province: the death of a worker, whose head was caught in a machine on May 14 at the Massilly North America Inc. plant in Brantford; and, the injury of a worker whose legs were trapped under machinery on July 12 at the Canadian Tire Warehouse in Brampton.

On October 25, 2010, the Ontario government passed legislation to remove section 12(3)(a) of the Professional Engineers Act, and close a safety gap in industrial workplaces. The repeal of this so-called "industrial exception" was to take effect September 1, 2013, following three years of transition planning and consultations with stakeholders. On June 12, however, the proclamation date was abandoned by the government and a new implementation date is not known at this time.

As a result, certain acts of engineering on machinery in industrial facilities continue to be allowed to be carried out by non-engineers. Only professional engineers have the experience and training to design and oversee the most complex manufacturing processes-efficiently and safely. And, through PEO's discipline process, professional engineers are held accountable for their actions and conduct to ensure the public interest is served and protected.

PEO remains concerned about the implications of the provincial government's decision and continues to engage in ongoing dialogue with the Ministry of Labour on workplace accidents. Ontario is the only province in Canada with a full industrial exception and its elimination would have brought the province in line with national standards.

"As the regulator of professional engineering practice to serve and protect the public interest, PEO has a responsibility to identify legislative gaps that may put the public at risk," said PEO President Annette Bergeron, MBA, P.Eng. "The machinery exception of section 12(3)(a) of the Professional Engineers Act is one such gap."

"Implementation of the repeal, which the government committed to in law almost three years ago, should assist in reducing the more than 100 worker fatalities that occur in Ontario manufacturing each year," said Ms. Bergeron.

About Professional Engineers Ontario

Through the Professional Engineers Act, PEO governs over 80,000 licence and certificate holders and regulates professional engineering in Ontario to serve and protect the public. Professional engineering safeguards life, health, property, economic interests, the public welfare and the environment. Professional engineers can be identified by the P.Eng. after their names. Visit www.peo.on.ca.

Contact Information

  • Professional Engineers Ontario
    David Smith
    Manager, Communications
    416-840-1068; 800-339-3716, ext.1068 or Cell: 416-458-4140
    dsmith@peo.on.ca
    www.peo.on.ca