Skip to main content

Material handling resources for workers, supervisors, and employers

According to MLITSD data, hazards related to material handling continue to be the top causes behind fatalities.
Woman Wearing a Mask in a Store
Photo: Shutterstock

In every business, materials come into the workplace, are lifted, moved around, and sent out. This is referred to as material handling. But with the movement of materials, comes risks to workers.  Whether you move materials by hand or with equipment there are hazards in your workplace. 

Material handling is a high-risk hazard impacting many workplaces and workers in Ontario. According to Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) data, hazards related to material handling continue to be the top causes behind fatalities. In 2023 alone, 13 fatalities were a result of workers being crushed by or struck by materials or equipment. Seven of these were suffered by young workers under the age of 25.

To help prevent future injuries and fatalities, the MLITSD is conducting a year-long campaign to raise awareness of material handling hazards and enforce compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations. This campaign runs April 1, 2024 – March 31, 2025. During this time, inspectors will visit various workplaces where materials, articles, or things are lifted, carried, or moved, therefore putting workers at risk of being injured by their movement. These visits will be unannounced.

To help you prepare for the inspections and make your workplace safer, we've developed free resources so employers, supervisors and workers can better understand material handling hazards.

Supervisor and employer resources are available in English. The worker resources are available in FrenchSpanishMandarinPunjabiTagalog and English. Share these resources to make your workplace safer.

READ: Tips for getting safety messages across to young workers this summer 

Free material handling resources for employers, supervisors and workers 
Safe Lifting / Preventing musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs
Racking Safety
Conveyor Safety

Lockout Tagout - Staying Safe with Hazardous Energy


Pedestrian Safety
Additional Resources

Have health and safety questions? Please contact Denise Lam, WSPS Account Manager, Small Business Ontario at [email protected]

The information in this article is accurate as of its publication date.

More Blog Posts in This Series

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds