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May is Building Safety Month

The Province of Ontario has proclaimed the month of May to be Building Safety Month. The Ontario Building Officials Association (OBOA) along with other entities in Canada and the United States use this month to draw attention to building regulations, Ontario Building Code, the importance of obtaining permits and the role that the Building Department plays in promoting health and safety of buildings and the occupants.

Please review the annual posters and safety tips provided by the OBOA in which key safety factors are identified and encouraged!

OBOA Safety Tips

The following safety measures should be prioritized when utilizing a ladder on the job site:

  1. Choose the right ladder - height, weight and capacity.
  2. Inspect before use - ensure the state of the equipment is adequate and safe.
  3. Proper placement & assembly - place the ladder on stable ground or use levelers and maintain a 75-degree angle.
  4. Secure - prevent movement during use by securing the ladder with tie-offs or stabilizers.
  5. Maintain Contact - there should be three points of contact at all times, using two hands and climbing one foot at a time. This is important for both ascent and descent.
  6. Avoid overreaching - stay centered, move the ladder if necessary to avoid leaning.
  7. Secure Tools - use a tool belt or hoist to be hands-free and protect others working below
  8. Follow manufacturer's guidelines - adhere to safety instructions 

The following tips promote a clean worksite:

  1. Organize tools & materials.
  2. Clear pathways for walking and moving equipment - this ensures quick fire exit routes are maintained and access to fire extinguishers .
  3. Secure loose cables and wires.
  4. Proper disposal of waste.
  5. Remove dust, debris and build-up.
  6. Safely store flammable materials.
  7. Identify and clearly mark hazard areas, equipment and materials.
  8. Practice good housekeeping and encourage all on-site to do the same.
  9. Conduct regular site inspections - to address and rectify any issues promptly to return the site to a safe environment. 

PPE is a crucial line of defense against workplace hazards, especially in our climate where we experience a wide range of weather and work conditions. Please review the following physical hazards and recommended PPE to protect against:

  • Noise
    • Use hearing protection such as earplugs or earmuffs
    • Limit exposure, when possible
    • Use noise cancelling or reducing measures - such as sound-proof barriers or enclosures
  • Heat
    • Stay hydrated
    • Take frequent breaks to prevent overheating 
    • Use sunscreen
  • Cold
    • Dress in layers - this traps body heat and acts to insulate the body against cold temperatures
    • Wear insulated and waterproof clothing and footwear - to prevent frostbite or hypothermia 
    • Take frequent breaks to warm up
    • Keep extremities covered -gloves, hats and thermal socks
    • Educate and be aware of cold related illnesses - shivering, numbness or confusion
  • Vibration 
    • Utilize vibration-dampening tools or equipment that reduces exposure to hand-arm vibration syndrome (HVAS)
    • Rotate job tasks to minimize prolonged exposure
    • Maintain tools and equipment in good working order
    • wear anti-vibration gloves or grip pads to reduce impact

How the OBC Affects You

The Ontario Building Code ('OBC') is collection of requirements, policies and rules or guidelines which outline the standards of health, safety, accessibility, and Energy Efficiency. The content provides requirements for construction of new buildings and additions, renovations/alterations to existing buildings. This is broken down by components of the building including but not limited to structure, type of material, plumbing, fire protection, occupant load and other systems. 

The purpose of the OBC is to ensure protection of people to enter, occupy and leave a building safely. Additionally, the OBC aids the public in the following ways:

  • Minimizes the risk to health, welfare & safety
    • As referenced above, the OBC provides protection by reducing hazards to building occupants.
  • Keeps construction costs down
    • It provides uniformity in materials in the construction industry, which allows builders, suppliers and manufacturers to do business on a larger scale - this gives rise to cost savings. 
  • Provides consistence of construction standards
    • The OBC has established consistent standards, which are applied to quality and durability or construction and materials. 
  • Contributes to the well-being of the community
    • Application and enforcement of the OBC promotes preservation of life, health and safety. 

How To Do Your Part - Permits

You can help promote the well-being of the community by obtaining a building permit, if and when necessary. Further information of permit requirements can be found on the main building page, by clicking the button below. However, if you are unsure if a project requires a permit, please do not hesitate to ask!

By obtaining the necessary permits, you will better understand the OBC requirements, as well as other local requirements (i.e., zoning) and protect your investment, whether it be your personal property or business. This provides the means for the Building Department to review and inspect construction for conformity to the OBC, in order to reduce risks of health and safety to all building occupants.


Short-Term Accommodation Licences

As demonstrated, life safety also extends to existing dwellings in relation to short term accommodations.

Within the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula (MNBP) all Short-term Accommodations are required to obtain a licence. Following the submission of an application, an inspection is conducted by a Municipal Inspector to ensure life safety compliance. 

For more information on MNBP's Short-term Accommodation Licensing Program, click the button below!

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