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
A widely-reported fire at a Kingston construction site that required the evacuation of a crane operator by helicopter, has resulted in fines against the owner of the company that supplied the crane operator.
To avoid the...more
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
Exceeding industry standards does not, on its own, protect employers from health and safety convictions or fines, a recent court decision shows. A roofing company was charged with two offences under the Ontario Occupational...more
An employer has been ordered to pay aggravated damages – in addition to lost wages – after firing an employee in retaliation for raising safety issues. The employee worked at a hair salon. She suffered an injury at work as a...more
The Occupational Health and Safety Act may protect employees against retaliation for asserting their rights under that Act, but not for merely sustaining an injury, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has decided....more
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
A judge has rejected an employer’s argument that Occupational Health and Safety Act charges against it were unclear and that the Crown was required to provide further “particulars” of the charges so the employer could defend...more
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
A constructor that argued the “mistake of fact” due diligence defence was instead found to have made a “mistake of law” and was convicted of a charge under the Occupational Health and Safety Act....more
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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