Adrian Miedema

Adrian Miedema

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Threats of violence, one day after “sensitivity training”, get worker fired for cause. He “may have a problem with women in the...

A worker who said, “If anything ever happened, like losing my job, I’d have no problem coming in here and shooting them”, a day after receiving sensitivity training relating to workplace violence, was dismissed for cause, an...more

3/14/2017 - Arbitration Canada Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Workplace Safety Workplace Violence

“Safety Engineering Letter of Opinion” dealing with OHSA obligations disallowed by court in civil lawsuit

A “Safety Engineering Letter of Opinion”, styled as an “expert report” and covering Occupational Health and Safety Act obligations, was struck and its author was prohibited from testifying at the trial of a civil lawsuit....more

3/7/2017 - Canada Employer Liability Issues Negligence OHSA Witness Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

“Repeated exposure to supervisor constituted a dangerous situation”, employee arguing

The Federal Court has breathed new life into a government employee’s claim that “repeated exposure to her supervisor constituted a dangerous situation” that justified her work refusal under the Canada Labour Code. The case...more

2/22/2017 - Canada Employer Liability Issues Harassment Supervisors

Christmas party incident of sexual harassment leads to dismissal, then reinstatement, of firefighter

A male firefighter who had been “drinking heavily” has won reinstatement to his job after being fired for sexually harassing a female coworker at the fire department’s Christmas party. The Christmas party was held at a...more

1/18/2017 - Anti-Harassment Policies Arbitration Arbitrators Canada Demotions Employer Liability Issues Firemen Hiring & Firing Holiday Parties Holidays Rape Reinstatement Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment Unions Work Suspensions

Having failed to obtain and review proper operating manual for machine, employer and supervisor convicted under OHSA

An employer and supervisor who failed to obtain an operator’s manual for a rip saw, and therefore failed to follow it, have been found guilty of offences under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act. The charges...more

12/16/2016 - Canada Employer Liability Issues OHSA Workplace Hazards Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

Arbitrator finds employer violated OHSA workplace-violence obligations

A labour arbitrator has found that a mental health organization violated the Occupational Health and Safety Act when it failed to take certain workplace-violence precautions. The organization provided services to...more

12/7/2016 - Arbitration Canada Case Management Employer Liability Issues Mental Health OHSA Sexual Assault Workplace Safety

Worker entitled to asbestos records for government building he worked in, but not list of employees in building

A worker was entitled to asbestos records for the government building he worked in. However, he was not entitled to a list of government employees who worked in the building and therefore who may have been exposed to...more

9/30/2016 - Air Quality Standards Asbestos Canada Employees Employer Liability Issues Employment Records Hazardous Substances Toxic Exposure Workplace Hazards Workplace Safety

Supervisor’s OHSA conviction upheld on appeal: prosecutor not required to prove what “hazard” caused concrete worker’s death

A supervisor’s Occupational Health and Safety Act conviction of failing to sufficiently and competently supervise work has been upheld on appeal, after a concrete worker died. The supervisor operated and managed a...more

9/13/2016 - Appeals Canada Carbon Monixide Exposure Construction Industry Construction Project Employer Liability Issues OHSA Workplace Hazards Workplace Injury Workplace Safety Wrongful Death

Despite employee’s concerns with speed, quality and outcome of harassment investigation, no reprisal under OHSA

Even though an employer’s harassment investigation was allegedly slow, inadequate and had a questionable outcome, the employee had not suffered a “reprisal” under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Ontario...more

8/9/2016 - Canada Employer Liability Issues Harassment Internal Investigations OHSA Ontario Labour Relations Board Workplace Safety

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

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

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

“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

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

“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

“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

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

“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

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

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

Despite Having WSIB Coverage, Worker Permitted to Sue “Physically Demonstrative” Executive Officer who “Massaged” her Neck

Physically demonstrative managers beware: your company’s workers compensation coverage does not necessarily protect you from lawsuits by employees. Even though her employer had Workplace Safety and Insurance Board...more

9/24/2014 - Canada Employer Liability Issues Liability Insurance Sexual Harassment

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