Adrian Miedema

Adrian Miedema

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Two superintendents fined for OHSA violations in scissor lift fatality

Two superintendents have been found guilty of offences under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act and fined $4,000 each after a worker died when a scissor lift was knocked over by a garage door. The accident...more

8/13/2015 - Fines Heavy Equipment Ministry of Labour OHSA Workplace Injury Wrongful Death

Employee guilty of “reckless” speeding in mine trolley: dismissal upheld

Unsafe operation of equipment is an easy way to get dismissed or charged with Occupational Health and Safety Act – or sometimes even criminal – offences. A labour arbitrator has upheld the dismissal of a mining employee for...more

8/5/2015 - Arbitration Canada Heavy Equipment Mining OHSA Reckless Driving Workplace Safety

“Zero tolerance” policy on drugs in workplace upheld by human rights tribunal where employee did not have “marijuana card”

An employee who smoked marijuana on the job without legal and medical authorization was not discriminated against when dismissed under his employer’s “zero tolerance” policy, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has...more

7/31/2015 - Employment Policies Hiring & Firing Marijuana Medical Marijuana OHSA Tribunals Zero Tolerance Policies

MOL engineer not qualified to give expert evidence: he was too involved in the investigation, too closely identified with...

An Ontario judge has refused to permit a professional engineer employed with the Ontario Ministry of Labour to testify as an expert in a health and safety prosecution. A company was charged under the Occupational Health...more

7/23/2015 - Construction Industry Expert Testimony Ministry of Labour OHSA Ontario Workplace Injury Wrongful Death

FOI adjudicator denies access to MOL inspector’s reasons for recommending no OHSA charges against employer

An adjudicator with the office of Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner has denied access to a Ministry of Labour inspector’s reasons for recommending that Occupational Health and Safety Act charges not be laid...more

7/17/2015 - Investigations Migrant Workers Ministry of Labour OHSA Ontario Public Records Workplace Safety

“Ill-conceived, poorly-executed” job search, “Alberta sojourn” breached Ontario employee’s duty to mitigate damages in...

Even though an employee “won” his safety-retaliation case under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after his employer failed to file a Response, the employee’s damages were reduced because his job search was shoddy....more

7/14/2015 - Duty to Mitigate Hiring & Firing Lost Wages OHSA OLRB Retaliation

Labour arbitrator agrees to hear harassment-retaliation grievance under OHSA

Although a temporary employee had no termination protection under the collective agreement, he did have the right to advance a reprisal / retaliation claim under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, a labour arbitrator has...more

7/9/2015 - Arbitration Collective Agreements Harassment Hiring & Firing OHSA Retaliation Temporary Employees Unions Workplace Bullying Wrongful Termination

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

Project Manager for Metron Construction convicted of criminal negligence in Christmas Eve fatalities. Three individuals and two...

The project manager who supervised the four workers who died after a swing stage scaffold collapsed on Christmas Eve, 2009, has been found guilty on four counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal...more

6/26/2015 - Construction Industry Criminal Code Criminal Negligence Ministry of Labour OHSA Ontario Workplace Hazards Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

“Creative sentence” imposed for OHSA violation: company must give 150 hours of safety presentations on case, plus pay fine

A Nova Scotia court has imposed a “creative sentence” for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, requiring the company to make safety presentations in addition to paying a fine. A journeyman electrician...more

6/23/2015 - Canada Corporate Fines OHSA Training Requirements Workplace Hazards Workplace Injury

Another lesson about clarity in settlements: employer may file WSIB appeal after mediated settlement, despite union’s objection

An employer’s appeal challenging a departed employee’s workers’ compensation entitlements may proceed, despite being filed after the employer, union and employee reached a settlement at mediation. The union had filed...more

6/18/2015 - Appeals Arbitration Employee Benefits Grievance Process Mediation OHSA Ontario Settlement Unions Wage and Hour Workers Compensation Awards Workplace Injury Workplace Safety WSIB

Cost of compliance with safety officer’s order could cause serious economic harm to company: Appeals Tribunal

A safety officer’s compliance order has been suspended where the cost of compliance would be so high that it could cause serious economic harm to the company. The company performed stevedoring and terminal handling of...more

6/3/2015 - Canada OHSA Ports Workplace Hazards Workplace Safety

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

Company owner convicted, fined under OHSA for providing false information, failing to co-operate with MOL inspector

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

5/5/2015 - Canada Construction Cranes Ministry of Labour OHSA

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

Company that “met or exceeded many industry standards in its operations” still found guilty of OHSA charges

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

4/15/2015 - Canada Construction Industry Construction Site Construction Workers OHSA Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

Aggravated damages awarded under OHSA for retaliatory firing

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

3/31/2015 - Adverse Employment Action Aggravated Damages Canada OHSA Retaliation Workplace Injury

OHSA does not protect against retaliation for merely sustaining injury: OLRB

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

3/26/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Canada OHSA

“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

OHSA charges were adequately particularized, court finds: disclosure showed violations Crown intended to prove

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

3/16/2015 - Canada Contractors Electricity OHSA Workplace Injury Wrongful Death

“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

Constructor made mistake of law, not fact: convicted of OHSA charge

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

3/3/2015 - Canada Construction Contracts Construction Workers General Contractors OHSA Workplace Injury

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

Having an active joint health and safety committee can help employers defend against OHSA charges, court decision suggests

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

2/17/2015 - OHSA Ontario Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

“If you think your salary is low . . .”: employer’s presentation was “offensive, distasteful and inappropriate as a motivational...

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

2/12/2015 - Canada CBAs OHSA Unions

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