Adrian Miedema

Adrian Miedema

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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

“Discipline” included “dismissal”: employer did not breach safety-reprisal settlement when it dismissed employee after harassment...

An employer that dismissed an employee after a harassment investigation did not breach a previous safety-reprisal settlement with the employee, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has held. In effect, the employer never...more

9/17/2014 - Employer Liability Issues Harassment Hiring & Firing OHSA Termination

No damages awarded for unforeseeable workplace assault, but employer ordered to rewrite harassment policy

The fact that an employee had engaged in harassment did not make it foreseeable that he would assault a coworker, a labour arbitrator has held. However, the company’s harassment policy was deficient and needed to be...more

9/5/2014 - Canada Employer Liability Issues Harassment OHSA

“Don’t worry about me, I carry weapons”: employee’s violent statements warranted serious discipline but not dismissal

An electrician’s comment, “Don’t worry about me, I carry weapons” and “it would really feel good to kill something today” constituted workplace violence but did not warrant dismissal, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has...more

8/27/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Canada Employer Liability Issues Employer No-Weapons Policies Hiring & Firing Workplace Violence

Ontario employers to bear WSIB costs of injured agency employees

A new Ontario Bill will make employers liable for the WSIB costs of injured agency employees working for them. Bill 18, which passed first reading on July 16, 2014, will amend the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act to...more

7/30/2014 - Canada Employer Liability Issues New Legislation Temporary Employees Workplace Injury

Are supervisors able to assess impairment? Drug driving decision suggests so

A recent Ontario decision suggests that laypersons - such as supervisors – may assess whether a person is impaired from drugs or alcohol, and their assessment will be considered in legal proceedings. In a “drug...more

7/25/2014 - Canada Drunk Driving Employer Liability Issues Marijuana

Arbitrator may order change to hours, location of doctor who sexually-harassed hospital nurse

Where a doctor has sexually harassed a nurse, a labour arbitrator has authority to decide how close the doctor should be able to work with the nurse, and under what conditions, an Ontario arbitrator has decided....more

7/3/2014 - Arbitrators Canada Employer Liability Issues Harassment Hospitals Physicians Sexual Harassment

$50,000 fine after trip-over-cord accident shows employers must listen to safety committee recommendations

A nurse’s trip over a cord has landed a hospital a $50,000 fine, where the joint health and safety committee had previously documented cord trips as a known hazard. The nurse was administering medication to a patient. ...more

6/19/2014 - Employer Liability Issues Workplace Injury

“Everyone just knew” was not a defence to OHSA charges: court

An employer’s assertion that “everyone just knew” the safety rules, was not a defence to charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, an Ontario court has held. The employer’s “casual, oral practice” – without a...more

5/29/2014 - Canada Employer Liability Issues Employment Policies OHSA Trucking Industry Workplace Hazards Workplace Safety

Majority Of OHSA Fines In $100,000 To $150,000 Range In Fatality Cases, Court Notes

In sentencing an employer to a $115,000.00 fine in the case of a tragic workplace death, an Ontario Justice of the Peace has discussed the range of fines against employers convicted of charges under the Occupational Health...more

4/10/2014 - Employer Liability Issues OSHA Workplace Injury Wrongful Death

OHS Consultant Loses OHS Reprisal Case

A health and safety consultant has lost his case against his employer, a health and safety association, in which he alleged that he had been retaliated against for raising safety issues....more

2/25/2014 - Employer Liability Issues OSHA Retaliation Safety Precautions Workplace Hazards

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