Adrian Miedema

Adrian Miedema

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Electrical contractor fined $537,500 after death of resident from faulty electrical work

An electrical contractor has been hit with a huge fine after its faulty electrical work led to a resident’s death. The contractor had installed an in-floor heating system in the bathroom of a home. The resident, an...more

4/27/2016 - Canada Contractors Electricity Guilty Pleas Health and Safety OHSA Wrongful Death

Shot at in parking lot, employee awarded $5,000 in damages from employer despite WSIB coverage

A labour arbitrator has awarded a unionized employee $5,000.00 in damages from his employer – despite the fact that the employer was registered with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board....more

4/22/2016 - Arbitration Canada Mass Shootings Workplace Injury Workplace Safety Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA) Workplace Violence WSIB

U.S. OSHA’s “severe injury” statistics broken out by industry

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has produced a “year one” impact-evaluation report on its Severe Injury Reporting Program. Effective January 1, 2015, U.S. employers have been required to report to...more

4/19/2016 - Construction Industry Employer Liability Issues Manufacturers OSHA Workplace Hazards Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

Employee stopped production line “to be difficult”, not due to safety issue: work refusal not justified

An employee who shut down a production line allegedly because two other employees were fighting, was not exercising a proper work refusal under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has...more

4/14/2016 - Canada Hiring & Firing OHSA Ontario Labour Relations Board Workplace Safety Workplace Violence

Contractor loses lawsuit against city for alleged breaches of OHSA’s asbestos-disclosure rules

A construction contractor has lost its bid for damages from a city, relying on a little-used section of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act that permits contractors to sue a building owner for damages for failing...more

4/12/2016 - Asbestos Canada Construction Industry Contractors Disclosure Requirements OHSA

Employer’s request for post-incident alcohol and drug test was not justified where no sign of impairment: arbitrator

An employee responsible for a minor, although unusual, accident in a company parking lot was justified in refusing to submit to an alcohol and drug test, a labour arbitrator has found. The employee was an electrician....more

4/7/2016 - Alcohol Testing Arbitration Artificial Impairment Canada Drug Testing Workplace Safety

Ontario MOL now posting “de-identified” information on fatalities online, even before OHSA charges laid

Ontario workplace fatalities could now result in a “de-identified” posting on the Ministry of Labour’s website, even before Occupational Health and Safety Act charges are laid. The postings provide a brief description of the...more

4/5/2016 - Canada Ministry of Labour OHSA Websites Workplace Injury Workplace Safety Wrongful Death

Double (16-hour) shift was not prohibited by ESA or OHSA: arbitrator

A labour arbitrator has held that the practice of unionized long-term care home employees voluntarily working two 8-hour shifts in succession did not violate the Ontario Employment Standards Act or Occupational Health and...more

3/29/2016 - Arbitration Canada Employment Standards Act Long Term Care Facilities OHSA Wage and Hour Work Schedules

Work refusal was motivated by employee’s dislike of work assignment, not by safety: when full disciplinary record considered,...

An arbitrator has upheld the dismissal of an employee who tried to use the Occupational Health and Safety Act’s work refusal provisions to avoid undesired work assignments. The employee worked for the City of Hamilton...more

3/22/2016 - Arbitration Canada Hiring & Firing OHSA Work Suspensions Wrongful Termination

General contractor, not present on job site, was still responsible for subcontractor’s safety: labour board

A general contractor on a residential project was responsible for the safety of its subcontractors even though it was not on site at the time of an incident. The general contractor objected to two compliance orders...more

3/17/2016 - Canada Construction Industry General Contractors OHSA Safety Violations Workplace Safety

Teachers’ union fighting for right to refuse work due where students violent

A student’s violent acts in a classroom have led to a dispute about the circumstances in which teachers may engage in a work refusal for safety reasons. The student was described as having a “history of violent behavior”.  He...more

3/3/2016 - Canada Educational Institutions OHSA OLRB Students Teachers Workplace Safety Workplace Violence

MOL’s incident-reporting training Order to mining company not suspended

A Ministry of Labour compliance Order issued against a mining company for allegedly failing to report an “uncontrolled fall of ground” should not be suspended pending the outcome of the employer’s appeal of that Order, the...more

3/1/2016 - Mining OHSA Ontario Labour Relations Board Reporting Requirements Workplace Hazards Workplace Safety

Court upholds arbitrator’s imposition of 24-hour shift for firefighters, despite city’s safety concerns

In a previous post, we reported that an arbitrator had accepted a union’s request to impose 24-hour shifts for the City of St. Catharines’ firefighters, in spite of the city’s safety concerns. A court has now upheld the...more

2/25/2016 - Arbitration Canada Firemen Work Schedules Workplace Safety

GHS update: Health Canada and U.S. OSHA seek public input on aligning hazard communication regulations, announce March 3 webinar

Health Canada and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have announced that they are seeking public input on aligning hazard communication regulations in Canada and the United States....more

2/23/2016 - Canada Hazardous Substances Information Sharing OSHA Safety Standards Workplace Hazards

Waiver was unenforceable under WSIA, employee entitled to sue employer after workplace injury

An Ontario employee has won the right to sue his employer for damages for an injury suffered at work.  An appeal court decided that a waiver he signed was, due to provisions in the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Act,...more

2/16/2016 - Canada Negligence Waivers Workplace Injury Workplace Safety WSIA

Firing after employee’s “generalized threat to get legal advice” was not retaliatory

An employee who was fired approximately one month after he told his employer that he “might get legal help” was not the victim of a reprisal, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has decided. Although the case was filed under...more

2/11/2016 - Canada Employment Discrimination Employment Standards Act Hiring & Firing Ontario Labour Relations Board Wrongful Termination

Criminal negligence causing death charge against auto mechanic reinstated by appeal court

A charge of criminal negligence causing death against an auto mechanic may proceed, the Ontario Court of Appeal has decided, holding that it was possible that a reasonable jury could find that the mechanic was a “significant...more

2/9/2016 - Canada Car Accident Criminal Negligence OHSA Product Defects Safety Inspections Wrongful Death

$5.3 million fine in Sunrise Propane case after joint prosecution under OHSA and EPA

Some cases illustrate very well the principle that “the more dangerous your operation, the more careful you must be”.  This case, involving a joint prosecution by the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Environment, is one of...more

2/2/2016 - Canada Cleanup Doctrine Energy Sector Environmental Protection Act Fines OHSA Propane Workplace Safety

“Presumptive remedy” for retaliatory discharge under OHSA is reinstatement of employee, OLRB states

Where an employer fires an employee for raising safety concerns, the employee will generally be entitled to reinstatement, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has stated. The case involved a restaurant employee who sent...more

1/28/2016 - Canada Hiring & Firing OHSA Ontario Labour Relations Board Retaliation Wage and Hour

Ontario OHSA convictions, fines inch up in 2014/15, MOL field visits at 11-year low

While the number of field visits conducted by Ontario Ministry of Labour inspectors continued to decline in 2014/15, the number of convictions increased slightly, the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s “Occupational Health & Safety...more

1/26/2016 - Canada OHSA Safety Inspections Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

July 1, 2016: All Ontario employers must comply with new noise regulation

As of July 1, 2016, all Ontario employers will be required to comply with a new workplace noise Regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The new Regulation (381/15) replaces noise protection requirements...more

1/22/2016 - Amusement Parks Canada Mining New Regulations Noise Control Ordinances OHSA Oil & Gas

Contractor jailed for 30 days, fined $45,000 after serious asbestos violations

Every now and then a case comes along to remind us that violators of occupational health and safety legislation can be sent to jail. Mind you, this case involved not only serious safety violations, but also deceit and...more

1/19/2016 - Asbestos Canada Ministry of Labour OHSA Workplace Hazards

Summary of judge’s reasons for giving Kazenelson, “unquestionably a person of good character”, a 3 1/2 year jail sentence for...

The judge’s reasons for sending Metron Construction’s project manager, Vadim Kazenelson, to jail for criminal negligence are now available. In our post of January 11th, we reported that the judge had sentenced Mr....more

1/14/2016 - Canada Criminal Investigations Criminal Negligence Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

3 1/2 years in prison for Metron project manager, Kazenelson, after criminal negligence conviction

Vadim Kazenelson, the project manager for Metron Construction, was sentenced today to 3½ years in prison for criminal negligence. This is the longest-ever jail sentence handed down for criminal negligence under the...more

1/12/2016 - Canada Construction Industry Convictions Criminal Negligence Criminal Prosecution Workplace Safety

“Industry standard” is not always appropriate safety precaution, and MOL inspector’s “gut instinct” is not enough to ground...

A mining company has won a lengthy dispute with the Ontario Ministry of Labour after satisfying the Ontario Labour Relations Board that the applicable “industry standard” was not appropriate in the case at hand. The...more

1/7/2016 - Canada Inspections Mining OHSA OLRB Workplace Safety

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