Adrian Miedema

Adrian Miedema

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OLRB confirms 30-day hard-stop deadline for appealing Ontario MOL inspectors’ compliance orders

A recent Ontario Labour Relations Board decision confirms that the 30-day deadline for appealing Ministry of Labour health and safety inspectors’ compliance orders under the Occupational Health and Safety Act cannot not be...more

3/22/2017 - Appeals Canada Deadlines Ministry of Labour OHSA OLRB Safety Inspections Workplace Safety

“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

Church defeats lawsuit by volunteer after stepladder accident. Duelling OHS experts’ testimony considered

A volunteer has lost his lawsuit against a church after he fell off a stepladder he was using at the church. The volunteer was a parishioner at the church who agreed to help with painting. He claimed that the church’s...more

2/2/2017 - Canada Churches Expert Testimony Negligence OHSA Religious Institutions Testimony Volunteers Workplace Injury

Court refuses small-town mayor’s OHSA-based request for injunction prohibiting resident from harassing her

An Ontario judge has rebuffed a small-town mayor’s attempt to use the Occupational Health and Safety Act‘s violence and harassment provisions to obtain a court order stopping a town resident from harassing her....more

1/31/2017 - Canada Harassment Injunctions Mayors OHSA Workplace Violence

Work refusal due to second-hand smoke was not properly investigated: arbitrator

A correctional officer with sinusitis and sensitivity to second-hand smoke was entitled to have her work refusal investigated by prison management, an arbitrator has decided. Although the prison was a non-smoking...more

1/19/2017 - Arbitration Arbitrators Canada Corrections Declaratory Relief OHSA Prison Prison Guards Prisoners Public Employees Smoking Bans

Subway operators fighting decision to staff trains with only one operator, claiming unsafe

Three Toronto subway operators engaged in a work refusal after the Toronto Transit Commission decided to staff subway trains with only one operator (instead of two). Their union is now fighting a Ministry of Labour...more

1/10/2017 - Canada Collective Agreements Grievance Process Ministry of Labour OHSA OLRB Railways Trains Transportation Industry Unions

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

GHS (WHMIS 2015) online courses now available

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has released two online courses on WHMIS 2015, which implements the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)....more

12/1/2016 - Canada Globally Harmonized System Hazardous Substances Labeling OHSA Toxic Chemicals Workplace Hazards Workplace Safety

Regulation still required compliance with older ANSI standard, not updated version: Tribunal

Where the government had not updated a regulation to require compliance with a newer version of an ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standard, the law still required compliance with the old version, a federal...more

11/28/2016 - ANSI Canada Construction Industry OHSA Workplace Safety

“You’re kind of close to those wires”: excavator operator guilty of OHSA charges after hitting power line

An excavator operator has been found guilty of two Occupational Health and Safety Act charges after hitting a power line. The operator, who was working on a road construction project, was planning to load the excavator...more

11/22/2016 - Canada Construction Industry Construction Project OHSA Workplace Hazards Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

City bylaw prohibiting hookah smoking in licensed businesses for health and safety reasons is valid: Court

The City of Toronto Council had the legal authority to make a by-law that prohibited hookah smoking in licensed establishments, an Ontario judge has decided, given the city’s valid health and safety concerns....more

11/11/2016 - Bylaws Canada OHSA Ontario Public Health Smoking Bans Tobacco Tobacco Regulations

Three days in jail for owner of roofing business after trying to deceive MOL inspector

The owner of a roofing business has landed in jail for three days after trying to trick a Ministry of Labour inspector following a workplace accident. Three workers were working on a residential roofing project but the...more

11/9/2016 - Canada Criminal Prosecution Interference Claims Ministry of Labour Obstruction of Justice OHSA Safety Inspections Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

After being told that she should just “quit” if she felt unsafe, dismissed employee awarded $15,000 in damages

A charity has been ordered to pay a dismissed employee $15,000 in damages after dismissing her shortly after she had raised safety issues, in violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The charity ran retail...more

11/3/2016 - Adverse Employment Action Canada Charitable Organizations Damages Demotions Hiring & Firing OHSA OLRB Pain and Suffering Retaliation Termination Workplace Safety

Appeal of MOL compliance order adjourned while related OHSA prosecution ongoing, despite City’s objection

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has adjourned an appeal of a Ministry of Labour inspector’s compliance order against the City of Sudbury while a related prosecution under the Occupational Health and Safety Act is ongoing,...more

10/28/2016 - Adjournment Appeals Canada Ministry of Labour OHSA Ontario Labour Relations Board

Federal employee has effective veto over appointment of “impartial” workplace violence investigator, as long as veto not exercised...

A federal employee’s objection to the appointment of a workplace violence investigator was valid, the Occupational Health and Safety Tribunal Canada has decided, because the investigator was not “seen by” the employee as...more

10/27/2016 - Canada Employment Tribunals Federal Employees Harassment OHSA Workplace Violence

Safety topic was emphasized, not “buried in hundreds of power point slides”: employer establishes due diligence, not guilty in...

A Saskatchewan employer has been found not guilty of six occupational health and safety charges after a worker died of suffocation when he became engulfed in a grain receiving pit.  The employer’s extensive safety program had...more

9/26/2016 - Canada Dismissals Due Diligence Employee Training OHSA Workplace Hazards Workplace Injury Workplace Safety Wrongful Death

“Competent supervisor” obligation relates to competence in safety, not in performance management: OLRB dismisses OHSA retaliation...

A laid-off worker’s safety-retaliation complaint under the Occupational Health and Safety Act has been dismissed because it was really a complaint about management’s assessment of his performance – not about safety....more

9/20/2016 - Adverse Employment Action Canada Dismissals Hiring & Firing Lay-Offs OHSA OLRB Retaliation

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

High school machine shop teacher loses work refusal case

A machine shop teacher’s work refusal was not justified, an appeals tribunal has decided, given that the teacher had the ability to manage the class environment to ensure safety. The teacher refused to teach the class if...more

9/9/2016 - Appeals Canada Dismissals Educational Institutions Hiring & Firing OHSA Students Teachers Workplace Hazards Workplace Safety

OHSA conviction, $48,000 fine upheld on appeal: “blocking” of machine required physical block

An Ontario Appeal judge has upheld an employer’s conviction under the Occupational Health and Safety Act for failure to “block” a machine, after the trial justice held that “blocking” required a physical block, not simply...more

9/7/2016 - Appeals Bodily Injury Canada OHSA Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

“Reputable and responsible” owner / operator guilty of OHSA charge after drill rig collapse at York University

After a dramatic and tragic incident in which a large drill rig fell over at York University, fatally injuring a backhoe operator and badly injuring an excavator operator, the company that owned and operated the rig has been...more

8/30/2016 - Canada Construction Industry Construction Project Ministry of Labour OHSA 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

Bartender, fired for smoking marijuana at work, loses human rights complaint

A B.C. bartender has lost his human rights compliant after he was dismissed for smoking marijuana on shift. The bartender also served as assistant manager of the restaurant. The employer had a policy that prohibited...more

8/5/2016 - Canada Disability Discrimination Employment Policies Hiring & Firing Human Rights Tribunals Liquor Control Acts Marijuana Medical Marijuana Occupiers Liability Act (OLA) OHSA Termination Zero Tolerance Policies

Unauthorized supervisor decided to “solve the problem himself”, caused accident – OHSA charges against company dismissed

An employer has beat occupational health and safety charges laid after its supervisor caused an explosion when he defied instructions and took it upon himself to use a torch to thaw ice that had accumulated in a culvert....more

7/21/2016 - Canada OHSA Power Plants Safety Training Workplace Hazards Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

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