An Ontario supervisor has been jailed for 45 days after a worker fell off a roof and suffered permanent paralysis. Are courts growing increasingly comfortable jailing supervisors for serious safety violations?...more
A long-time co-chair of a plant safety committee has been disciplined after he confronted the employer in a “crew talk” meeting for failing to consult with the safety committee before implementing a new drug and alcohol...more
The Occupational Health and Safety Act obligation to notify the Ontario Ministry of Labour of accidents and occupational illness claims is not a mere technicality, as one employer has learned when it was hit with a $75,000.00...more
In a case that will be closely watched, an Ontario judge has permitted a class action lawsuit against the Ministry of Labour for “negligent inspection” of a workplace....more
The clock is ticking. All Ontario employers must provide their workers and supervisors with “basic occupational health and safety awareness training” by July 1st, 2014 or they will be in violation of a new regulation under...more
An inspector’s alleged statement that, “our branch is different up here. I know in southern Ontario they fine, fine, fine. But we don’t do that here” was not a promise that he wouldn’t lay charges under the Occupational...more
A provision in a harassment program allowing for a preliminary assessment of complaints, rather than an investigation, and for early dismissal, violates the Occupational Health and Safety Act, an employee is arguing before...more
I recently wrote about the cost of failing to report accidents or occupational disease claims to the Ministry of Labour. The cost of failing to comply with an inspector’s orders can be even higher....more
May an employee, unhappy with how he or she was treated after filing a harassment complaint with the employer, turn to the Ontario Labour Relations Board for a remedy? Up until recently, the answer appeared to be “no”. Two...more
Police have laid criminal negligence charges against a professional engineer in relation to the Elliot Lake mall collapse in June 2012.
The charges against professional engineer Robert Wood are two counts of criminal...more
An employer’s corrective action taken after an accident did not entitle it to a reduced fine under the Occupational Health and Safety Act because the action should have been taken – and was legally-required – before the...more
The clock is ticking. All Ontario employers must provide their workers and supervisors with “basic occupational health and safety awareness training” by July 1st, or they will be in violation of a new regulation under the...more
In what is still a relatively rare occurrence, an Ontario supervisor has been sent to jail for violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker died. Lying to the police and Ministry of Labour inspector did...more
A worker who delayed reporting an alleged workplace accident has claimed that his employer discouraged employees from reporting, but the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal has rejected that claim. The...more
In a decision that affirms a broad definition of “workplace” under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has ruled that hydro trucks, including their aerial lift buckets, were...more
The Ontario Labour Relations Board has held that it has no authority to order the Ontario Ministry of Labour to conduct an investigation into an employee’s safety-reprisal complaint, nor could the OLRB base its decision on...more
An employee who attacked a coworker who warned of safety issues, has been sent to prison for four years.
CBC News reported that the employee was training a coworker on the use of heavy equipment, and that after the...more
We all know that police in Ontario are cracking down on distracted drivers, particularly those handling cell phones or texting while driving. But now a private motor vehicle accident lawsuit is alleging that a driver was...more
We are often asked whether post-accident fixes or improvements by an employer will be held against it if occupational health and safety charges are laid. For example, if an employer puts a guard on a machine after an employee...more
A disability management company charged under the Ontario Insurance Act with knowingly making false or misleading statements to an insurer has been found not guilty. The charges were brought on behalf of the Financial...more
The Ontario Labour Relations Board has deferred to the opinion of a Ministry of Labour inspector over that of an engineer in refusing to suspend a compliance order issued by the inspector under the Occupational Health and...more
Drivers who have a cell phone in hand are committing an offence, even if not using the phone at the time, Ontario’s top court has decided, overturning an appeal judge.
While the driver, Kazemi, was stopped at a stop...more
An employee who was entitled to Workplace Safety and Insurance Board benefits for a workplace injury could not also obtain damages through arbitration, a labour arbitrator has decided.
Working excessive hours could pose a safety issue, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has held in refusing to dismiss a complaint that the employee was fired in retaliation for raising safety issues.
An Ontario judge has imposed a $1,050,000 fine against Vale Canada Limited, the highest fine ever imposed under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act. It appears that the previous record fine, handed down in 2010,...more