Adrian Miedema

Adrian Miedema


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Misled by official, company proves “officially induced error”, beats charges

The defence of “officially induced error” is rarely used successfully, but in a recent Highway Traffic Act case, it won the day. A company in the business of construction and snowplowing was charged under the Highway...more

9/29/2015 - Construction Industry Highways Operational Permits

Moving company fined under smoke-free workplace legislation

As one employer learned recently, smoke-free workplace legislation has teeth. According to a Nunavut government press release, a government safety officer, in a workplace inspection, “observed evidence of smoking in the...more

9/24/2015 - Safety Inspections Smoking Bans Workplace Safety

Safety contractor wins appeal of $1,000 administrative penalty under OHSA

Don’t be seen to cause a traffic jam that inconveniences a government health and safety officer. Perhaps that is the real moral of this story. A safety contractor was providing traffic control services on the...more

9/22/2015 - Civil Monetary Penalty Compliance OHSA Roads

Business owner facing criminal and provincial charges in workplace death

Both the RCMP and provincial health and safety officials have laid charges against an owner of a body shop in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia after a worker died. The worker was killed when the vehicle he was working on caught...more

9/17/2015 - Compliance Criminal Negligence OHSA Royal Canadian Mounted Police Workplace Hazards Workplace Injury Workplace Safety Wrongful Death

OLRB orders employer to reinstate apartment building superintendent allegedly fired for reporting workplace violence

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has ordered an employer to reinstate an apartment building “office administrative superintendent” who alleged that she was fired after reporting that her husband, the maintenance...more

9/15/2015 - OLRB Reinstatement Workplace Violence Wrongful Termination

Employee properly fired for workplace violence threats, despite his mental disability: Appeal Court

An employee’s mental disability, unknown to his employer at the time of dismissal, played no role in the reason he was fired.  He was fired because he made violent threats against coworkers, the Ontario Court of Appeal has...more

9/10/2015 - Disability Discrimination Hiring & Firing Workplace Violence Wrongful Termination

Can provincial OHSA legislation apply across borders? Ontario OHSA protects employee for safety concerns raised while temporarily...

The question often arises as to whether occupational health and safety legislation in an employee’s home province protects him or her when temporarily working in another province.  According to one recent Ontario Labour...more

9/8/2015 - OHSA Ontario Labour Relations Board Workplace Safety

Snowplow driver dismissed due to two accidents, not workplace violence “head-butting” complaint

A snowplow driver’s bad driving record, not his workplace violence complaint, was the reason for his dismissal, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has decided. Vehicle safety and safe road conduct were important to the...more

9/3/2015 - Hiring & Firing OLRB Retaliation Workplace Safety

“Discussing inappropriate personal matters at work”, aggressive conduct, gets employee fired for cause

An employee on a “last-chance” agreement was fired for cause for his “aggressive, condescending and rude” behaviour including discussing sensitive personal matters at work. The employee had worked at the company for 28...more

9/1/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Employment Policies Harassment Hiring & Firing Mediation Workplace Bullying

Arbitration board imposes 24-hour firefighter shift, despite employer’s safety concerns

An interest arbitration board has imposed a 24-hour shift for firefighters employed by the Ontario City of St. Catharines, despite the city’s strenuous objections based largely on safety concerns. The City and...more

8/27/2015 - Arbitration Firemen Unions Wage and Hour Work Schedules

U.S. construction companies and manager face fines of nearly $2 million for exposing workers to asbestos

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) has cited a construction company and its manager for asbestos-related violations and imposed fines of almost $2 million.  Safety regulators are increasingly taking...more

8/25/2015 - Asbestos Asbestos Litigation Construction Industry Foreign Workers OSHA Safety Inspections Workplace Hazards Wrongful Termination

Two superintendents fined for OHSA violations in scissor lift fatality

Two superintendents have been found guilty of offences under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act and fined $4,000 each after a worker died when a scissor lift was knocked over by a garage door. The accident...more

8/13/2015 - Fines Heavy Equipment Ministry of Labour OHSA Workplace Injury Wrongful Death

Employee guilty of “reckless” speeding in mine trolley: dismissal upheld

Unsafe operation of equipment is an easy way to get dismissed or charged with Occupational Health and Safety Act – or sometimes even criminal – offences. A labour arbitrator has upheld the dismissal of a mining employee for...more

8/5/2015 - Arbitration Canada Heavy Equipment Mining OHSA Reckless Driving Workplace Safety

“Zero tolerance” policy on drugs in workplace upheld by human rights tribunal where employee did not have “marijuana card”

An employee who smoked marijuana on the job without legal and medical authorization was not discriminated against when dismissed under his employer’s “zero tolerance” policy, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has...more

7/31/2015 - Employment Policies Hiring & Firing Marijuana Medical Marijuana OHSA Tribunals Zero Tolerance Policies

MOL engineer not qualified to give expert evidence: he was too involved in the investigation, too closely identified with...

An Ontario judge has refused to permit a professional engineer employed with the Ontario Ministry of Labour to testify as an expert in a health and safety prosecution. A company was charged under the Occupational Health...more

7/23/2015 - Construction Industry Expert Testimony Ministry of Labour OHSA Ontario Workplace Injury Wrongful Death

FOI adjudicator denies access to MOL inspector’s reasons for recommending no OHSA charges against employer

An adjudicator with the office of Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner has denied access to a Ministry of Labour inspector’s reasons for recommending that Occupational Health and Safety Act charges not be laid...more

7/17/2015 - Investigations Migrant Workers Ministry of Labour OHSA Ontario Public Records Workplace Safety

“Ill-conceived, poorly-executed” job search, “Alberta sojourn” breached Ontario employee’s duty to mitigate damages in...

Even though an employee “won” his safety-retaliation case under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after his employer failed to file a Response, the employee’s damages were reduced because his job search was shoddy....more

7/14/2015 - Duty to Mitigate Hiring & Firing Lost Wages OHSA OLRB Retaliation

Labour arbitrator agrees to hear harassment-retaliation grievance under OHSA

Although a temporary employee had no termination protection under the collective agreement, he did have the right to advance a reprisal / retaliation claim under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, a labour arbitrator has...more

7/9/2015 - Arbitration Collective Agreements Harassment Hiring & Firing OHSA Retaliation Temporary Employees Unions Workplace Bullying Wrongful Termination

Employer permitted to use “cumbersome” two-page sick leave medical form implemented after STD costs increase, arbitrator rules

An employer’s introduction of a new two-page sick leave medical form did not violate the collective agreement, a labour arbitrator has held. The employer introduced the form in response to the increasing costs of...more

7/7/2015 - Collective Agreements Disability Leave Sick Leave United Steelworkers Workplace Safety

Arbitrator Strikes Down Employer’s Total Ban On Smoking During Shift

Starting in January 2015, the employer – which manufactured wire and cable products – banned smoking anywhere on company property, including outside of the plant. Employees were also prohibited from leaving company property...more

7/1/2015 - Arbitration Canada Employer Liability Issues Employment Policies OHSA Smoking Bans Unions

Project Manager for Metron Construction convicted of criminal negligence in Christmas Eve fatalities. Three individuals and two...

The project manager who supervised the four workers who died after a swing stage scaffold collapsed on Christmas Eve, 2009, has been found guilty on four counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal...more

6/26/2015 - Construction Industry Criminal Code Criminal Negligence Ministry of Labour OHSA Ontario Workplace Hazards Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

“Creative sentence” imposed for OHSA violation: company must give 150 hours of safety presentations on case, plus pay fine

A Nova Scotia court has imposed a “creative sentence” for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, requiring the company to make safety presentations in addition to paying a fine. A journeyman electrician...more

6/23/2015 - Canada Corporate Fines OHSA Training Requirements Workplace Hazards Workplace Injury

Another lesson about clarity in settlements: employer may file WSIB appeal after mediated settlement, despite union’s objection

An employer’s appeal challenging a departed employee’s workers’ compensation entitlements may proceed, despite being filed after the employer, union and employee reached a settlement at mediation. The union had filed...more

6/18/2015 - Appeals Arbitration Employee Benefits Grievance Process Mediation OHSA Ontario Settlement Unions Wage and Hour Workers Compensation Awards Workplace Injury Workplace Safety WSIB

U.S. OSHA and Health Canada continue “partnership” to coordinate labelling and classification of hazardous chemicals, implement...

Health Canada and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have announced that they will “continue their partnership” to “align United States and Canadian regulatory approaches regarding labelling and...more

6/16/2015 - Canada Chemicals Globally Harmonized System Healthcare OSHA Workplace Safety

Ontario Bill will increase fines for Workplace Safety & Insurance Act violations

The Ontario government has introduced legislation that will, among other things, quintuple the maximum fine against corporations for violating the Workplace Safety & Insurance Act, Ontario’s workers’ compensation act....more

6/9/2015 - Canada Workplace Injury

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