Adrian Miedema

Adrian Miedema

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Former Safety Manager Charged in U.S. Workplace Death

A former Safety Manager in California is among those charged with “willfully violating worker safety rules”, allegedly causing the death of a worker. The former Safety Manager and the Director of Plant Operations of...more

5/27/2015 - OSHA Safety Violations Workplace Safety

Worker awarded WSIB benefits after health and safety officer “grabbed him and threw him to the ground”

In an unusual case, a construction site superintendent has won entitlement to workers compensation benefits after persuading an appeals tribunal that he was assaulted by his employer’s health and safety officer and was not an...more

5/26/2015 - Appeals Canada Construction Industry OSHA Workers Compensation Awards Workplace Safety WSIB

Ontario MOL Releases 2015-16 Safety Inspection Blitz Schedule

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has released its schedule of workplace inspection blitzes for the period from May 2015 to March 2016. The schedule gives employers advance notice of what MOL inspectors will look for when they...more

5/19/2015 - Canada Construction Cranes Construction Industry Employer Liability Issues Heavy Equipment Mining Ministry of Labour OHSA Safety Inspections

Injured Worker’s Act was Not Foreseeable: OHSA Charges Against Employer Dismissed

Recently, an Ontario court dismissed Occupational Health and Safety Act charges against an employer where the injured worker’s unexpected and unauthorized act led to his injury. The worker used an overhead crane to rotate a...more

5/8/2015 - Canada Construction Cranes Due Diligence Ministry of Labour Ontario OSHA Workplace Injury

Company owner convicted, fined under OHSA for providing false information, failing to co-operate with MOL inspector

A widely-reported fire at a Kingston construction site that required the evacuation of a crane operator by helicopter, has resulted in fines against the owner of the company that supplied the crane operator. To avoid the...more

5/5/2015 - Canada Construction Cranes Ministry of Labour OHSA

“Classic bullying” in company washroom, “which is the traditional hang out of bullies”, lands employee three-day suspension

A 6’2', 300-lb employee’s hostile, intimidating comment to a smaller co-worker in the company washroom was just cause for a three-day suspension, an arbitrator has decided. The evidence was that the suspended employee said,...more

4/30/2015 - Arbitration Canada Discipline Employer Liability Issues Workplace Bullying

Even “inspecting” equipment is “working on it”: employer guilty of OHSA charge where employees had not even started maintenance...

A maintenance electrician had “worked on” a stuck shipping door when he simply “inspected” it, even though he had not actually performed maintenance on it, a court has ruled. He was injured when the door fell on him. The...more

4/24/2015 - Canada Employer Liability Issues OHSA Workplace Hazards

36-year employee properly dismissed for “unprovoked momentary outburst” with knife

A 57 year old employee with 36 years of service was properly fired for one incident in which he cut another employee with a knife, a labour arbitrator has decided. The employee was a custodian with a textiles company.  He...more

4/21/2015 - Canada Hiring & Firing Termination Workplace Violence

Company that “met or exceeded many industry standards in its operations” still found guilty of OHSA charges

Exceeding industry standards does not, on its own, protect employers from health and safety convictions or fines, a recent court decision shows. A roofing company was charged with two offences under the Ontario Occupational...more

4/15/2015 - Canada Construction Industry Construction Site Construction Workers OHSA Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

Manager was not a “competent person” to conduct harassment / violence investigation under Canada Labour Code: Court

The Federal Court has held that a manager was not a “competent person” to conduct a workplace harassment investigation under the Canada Labour Code because the employee who filed the complaint had not agreed that the manager...more

4/7/2015 - Canada Employer Liability Issues Harassment Impartiality Internal Investigations Managers

Aggravated damages awarded under OHSA for retaliatory firing

An employer has been ordered to pay aggravated damages – in addition to lost wages – after firing an employee in retaliation for raising safety issues. The employee worked at a hair salon. She suffered an injury at work as a...more

3/31/2015 - Adverse Employment Action Aggravated Damages Canada OHSA Retaliation Workplace Injury

OHSA does not protect against retaliation for merely sustaining injury: OLRB

The Occupational Health and Safety Act may protect employees against retaliation for asserting their rights under that Act, but not for merely sustaining an injury, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has decided....more

3/26/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Canada OHSA

No punches thrown, but employee properly dismissed for yelling, swearing and abusive conduct

An employee need not physically assault a co-worker in order to be dismissed for workplace violence, an arbitrator’s decision shows. The employer had 8 “Golden Rules” of workplace health, safety and environmental...more

3/24/2015 - Arbitration Employment Policies Hiring & Firing Termination Workplace Violence

“Flagrant disregard” of OHSA, failure to report, gets construction company convicted on 5 OHSA charges

A construction company that tried to blame a worker’s fall on his untied boots, has been found guilty of all 5 charges against it under Saskatchewan’s The Occupational Health and Safety Act. The 18-year-old worker, who had...more

3/19/2015 - Canada Construction Industry Construction Project Construction Workers Employer Liability Issues OHSA Workplace Injury

OHSA charges were adequately particularized, court finds: disclosure showed violations Crown intended to prove

A judge has rejected an employer’s argument that Occupational Health and Safety Act charges against it were unclear and that the Crown was required to provide further “particulars” of the charges so the employer could defend...more

3/16/2015 - Canada Contractors Electricity OHSA Workplace Injury Wrongful Death

“Who is a supervisor?” Ontario Ministry of Labour releases guideline

Employers often struggle with the question of who is a “supervisor” under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act. The answer to that question is obviously important because supervisors have legal duties under the...more

3/13/2015 - Canada Employer Liability Issues OHSA Supervisors

Constructor made mistake of law, not fact: convicted of OHSA charge

A constructor that argued the “mistake of fact” due diligence defence was instead found to have made a “mistake of law” and was convicted of a charge under the Occupational Health and Safety Act....more

3/3/2015 - Canada Construction Contracts Construction Workers General Contractors OHSA Workplace Injury

Mere posting of standard operating procedure was not enough: OLRB refuses to suspend MOL inspector’s training order

Employers often post new procedures in the workplace without providing formal training.  A recent decision of the Ontario Labour Relations Board suggests that for some work procedures, posting is not enough; rather, training...more

2/26/2015 - Employer Liability Issues OHSA Safety Training Training Workplace Safety

Run over by shoplifter in parking lot, retail employee may sue employer and supervisor despite having WSIB coverage

A retail employee who helped pursue a shoplifter, in violation of the employer’s workplace violence policy, was not entitled to WSIB benefits and could sue the employer and a supervisor in the courts for her injury....more

2/24/2015 - Canada Parking Lots Retailers Workplace Injury Workplace Violence

Having an active joint health and safety committee can help employers defend against OHSA charges, court decision suggests

An Ontario court has dismissed charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after two incidents which the joint health and safety committee did not identify as posing a “high priority” safety concern....more

2/17/2015 - OHSA Ontario Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

“If you think your salary is low . . .”: employer’s presentation was “offensive, distasteful and inappropriate as a motivational...

An adjudicator has criticized an employer’s motivational presentation as “offensive, distasteful and inappropriate as a motivational tool”, but found that it was not illegal. The presentation was delivered by a Regional...more

2/12/2015 - Canada CBAs OHSA Unions

OHSA charges dismissed: not appropriate for MOL to charge under “general duty” clause where specific regulation addressed safety...

In dismissing Occupational Health and Safety Act charges against an employer arising out of a fatality, an Ontario court has held that it is not appropriate for the Ministry of Labour to charge under the “general duty clause”...more

2/10/2015 - Canada Ministry of Labour OHSA Wrongful Death

False assault allegation against supervisor was just cause for dismissal: video evidence was conclusive

An employee who filed a written complaint, falsely alleging that his supervisor deliberately ran into him with a sharp blow from his shoulder, was dismissed for cause, an arbitrator has held. Unfortunately for the employee,...more

2/5/2015 - Canada Hiring & Firing Video Recordings Workplace Violence

“Not the right fit”? Fired hours after MOL inspector’s visit, employee awarded $19,000 in damages

Employers who have bona fide reasons for dismissing an employee should avoid using “not the right fit”. They should also show up at Ontario Labour Relations Board hearings. An employer that dismissed an employee hours after a...more

2/3/2015 - Canada Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing OHSA Retaliation

Supervisor fined after workers exposed to asbestos dust

A supervisor with an asbestos abatement company, and his employer, have pleaded guilty to charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and were fined, after workers were exposed to asbestos dust on a job site....more

1/29/2015 - Asbestos Canada Employer Liability Issues Enforcement Actions OHSA Workplace Hazards

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