Adrian Miedema

Adrian Miedema

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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

Employer Who Voluntarily Complied with MOL Inspector’s Orders Was Not Entitled to Suspension of Orders Pending Appeal

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has held that where an employer had complied with a Ministry of Labour inspector’s compliance orders under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, to the satisfaction of the MOL, the...more

1/27/2015 - Appeals Canada Employer Liability Issues Ministry of Labour OHSA

WSIB Age Cut-off for Loss-of-Earnings Benefits not Discriminatory Against Older Workers: Court

Ontario’s Divisional Court has decided that the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act’s age cut-off for loss of earnings benefits for older workers did not violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms....more

1/22/2015 - Canada Disability Benefits OHSA Workplace Safety

Where MOL Inspector Withdraws OHSA Compliance Order, OLRB Cannot Reinstate While Appeal Argued

Although an employer may appeal a Ministry of Labour inspector’s rescission (withdrawal) of a compliance order that he or she wrote to an employer under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Ontario Labour Relations...more

1/20/2015 - Canada Compliance Order Ministry of Labour OHSA

OLRB Agrees to Hear Another Harassment Case

The debate continues as to whether the Ontario Labour Relations Board has jurisdiction to hear harassment-reprisal complaints under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, but another Vice-Chair of the OLRB has said “yes”....more

1/16/2015 - Employer Liability Issues Harassment OHSA OLRB Ontario

Two company directors jailed 25 days after worker dies, no safety training provided

Rarely are senior corporate officials jailed for health and safety offences in Canada.  But recently, two company directors of an importer and retailer of furniture and accessories, were jailed for 25 days after a worker died...more

1/14/2015 - C-Suite Executives Canada Criminal Prosecution Directors Employer Liability Issues Furniture Industry OHSA Retailers Workplace Injury Wrongful Death

Persistent mockery, intimidation of supervisor was “juvenile and unworthy of a 12 year old”, warranted 6-month suspension of...

An employee’s persistent mockery and intimidating conduct towards a supervisor warranted a 6-month suspension, an arbitrator has held. The employee’s conduct included the following...more

12/19/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Arbitration Canada Willful Misconduct

Total fines now $1.24 million in Christmas Eve fatalities after swing stage company and director fined

The total of safety fines paid for the December 24, 2009 swing stage collapse fatalities is now $1,240,000 after Swing N Scaff Inc., the company that supplied the swing stage platform (a suspended work platform), was fined...more

12/17/2014 - Canada Construction Industry Wrongful Death

“It is not the Board’s role to chase” unrepresented employee: safety-reprisal complaint dismissed

The Canada Industrial Relations Board has dismissed a safety-reprisal complaint where the employee, representing himself, missed deadlines and failed to respond to CIRB correspondence. The employee filed a complaint...more

12/10/2014 - Canada Workplace Safety

Dismissal of safety-reprisal complaint set aside where employee, mistaken about start time, failed to attend hearing

An employer is facing a resurrected Ontario Labour Relations Board safety-reprisal hearing after the case was dismissed when the employee failed to attend the hearing. The OLRB dismissed the complaint as abandoned...more

12/3/2014 - Canada OHSA Ontario Labour Relations Board

“Zero tolerance”, automatic suspension approach to safety violations criticized, written warning substituted

Employers are increasingly taking a “zero tolerance” approach in which a minimum level of discipline – whether a suspension or dismissal – is imposed for certain serious safety violations. In a recent case, an arbitrator...more

12/1/2014 - Canada OHSA Workplace Hazards Workplace Safety

Fake e-mail to other employees results in criminal mischief conviction

An Ontario employee has been convicted of criminal mischief after sending a fake e-mail to fellow employees, degrading another co-worker. The employee, apparently upset that the co-worker rejected his request that they...more

11/26/2014 - Canada Criminal Prosecution Email

Ontario taking steps to implement GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals), amend WHMIS...

The Ontario Ministry of Labour is proposing amendments to safety laws as part of a broader national and international initiative to implement the “Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals”, known...more

11/21/2014 - Canada Ministry UN GHS

Ontario MOL consulting on extending noise protection to all Ontario workers

The Ontario Ministry of Labour is proposing that all Ontario workers be protected from excess noise in the workplace. Currently, the regulations for Industrial Establishments, Mines and Mining Plants and Oil and...more

11/19/2014 - Ontario Labour Relations Board Workplace Hazards

Federal work refusals now require “imminent or serious threat”

Federal employers have a new definition of “danger” to apply, and an updated work refusal process to use, effective October 31, 2014. The federal government amended the definition of “danger” to, according to a...more

11/14/2014 - Canada Public Employees Public Employers Workplace Hazards

Failing to correct hazards, pay OSHA fines gets U.S. business owner taken into custody

An Illinois business owner has been taken into custody after his business failed to correct serious trenching hazards and pay Occupational Safety and Health Administration penalties. The case illustrates the personal risk to...more

11/12/2014 - Criminal Prosecution Employer Liability Issues OSHA Secretary of Labor Workplace Hazards

New Ontario Safety Blitz Targets Large Number of Industrial Workplaces

The Ontario Ministry of Labour will conduct a safety blitz of industrial workplaces from November 3rd to December 14th, 2014. Although the MOL’s bulletin regarding this blitz does not say it, employers should ensure...more

11/10/2014 - Canada Compliance OHSA

Court considers safety, fatigue of replacement workers in granting picketing injunction

A British Columbia judge has considered an employer’s concerns for the safety of replacement workers, in granting an injunction against picketing workers. The employer and Unifor were in a labour dispute. Unifor was...more

10/24/2014 - Canada Employee Rights Injunctions OHSA Safety Precautions

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