Adrian Miedema

Adrian Miedema

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MOL permits employer to have multi-workplace joint health and safety committee, union’s challenge dismissed

A union has lost a request to suspend a Ministry of Labour Director’s order allowing a school board to establish a multi-workplace joint health and safety committee. The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act...more

8/20/2014 - Canada Ministry of Labour OHSA Safety Precautions Unions

“Red flags” were used to assess workplace violence threat; employer’s request for psychiatric assessment was justified

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has ruled that the City of Toronto was justified in requiring an employee to obtain a psychiatric assessment because of “red flags” which included a comment, “Do you want me to die?”...more

8/6/2014 - Canada Safety Precautions Workplace Violence

Reprimands for “violation of basic safety protocols” were not discriminatory

After failing in a harassment grievance that was based on the Occupational Health and Safety Act, an employee has failed in his bid to persuade the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario that safety-related discipline against him...more

7/16/2014 - Canada OHSA Safety Precautions

MOL Inspector’s “Unclear” Order Required School Board To Revise Its Workplace Violence Policy

A Ministry of Labour inspector has ordered an Ontario school board to revise its workplace violence policy, and the Ontario Labour Relations Board has suspended that Order, calling it “unclear”....more

4/17/2014 - Canada OHSA Public Schools Safety Precautions Workplace Injury Workplace Violence

Zero-Tolerance “Safety Absolute” Upheld: One Tie-Off Violation Gets Employee Fired For Cause

Zero-tolerance safety rules, often called “Life Saving Rules”, “Cardinal Safety Rules” or ”Safety Absolutes”, are becoming more common in industry. An arbitrator has now upheld the firing of a unionized employee for one...more

3/27/2014 - Canada OHSA Safety Precautions Termination Zero Tolerance Policies

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

Attack On Co-Worker Who Warned Of Unsafe Behaviour Gets Employee 4 Years In Prison

An employee who attacked a coworker who warned of safety issues, has been sent to prison for four years. CBC News reported that the employee was training a coworker on the use of heavy equipment, and that after the...more

11/14/2013 - Assault Canada Safety Precautions Sentencing Workplace Violence

Post-Accident Safety Fixes: An Admission Of Liability?

We are often asked whether post-accident fixes or improvements by an employer will be held against it if occupational health and safety charges are laid. For example, if an employer puts a guard on a machine after an employee...more

10/11/2013 - Canada OHSA Remedial Actions Safety Precautions Workplace Injury

Inspector’s Opinion Beat Engineer’s In Request To Suspend OHSA Compliance Order

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has deferred to the opinion of a Ministry of Labour inspector over that of an engineer in refusing to suspend a compliance order issued by the inspector under the Occupational Health and...more

10/3/2013 - Appeals Canada Compliance Order OHSA OLRB Safety Precautions

Excessive Hours Of Work Could Be Safety Issue: OLRB

Working excessive hours could pose a safety issue, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has held in refusing to dismiss a complaint that the employee was fired in retaliation for raising safety issues. ...more

9/24/2013 - Canada Duty Hours OLRB Safety Precautions Wage and Hour

$750K Fine For “Extreme” Criminal Negligence: “More Serious” Than OHSA Offences, Says Appeal Court In Metron Construction Fatality...

A $200,000.00 fine was “manifestly unfit”, the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled, in raising Metron Construction’s fine to $750,000 for criminal negligence after four workers died on Christmas Eve, 2009. The $200,000 fine...more

9/11/2013 - Canada Construction Accidents Construction Workers Criminal Negligence Fines OSHA Punitive Damages Safety Precautions Workplace Hazards Workplace Injury Wrongful Death

“A Parking Lot Is Not Just A Parking Lot”: Scooter Accident Was WSIB Issue, Employee’s Lawsuit Barred

An employee’s motor scooter accident in her employer’s parking lot was a Workplace Safety and Insurance Board issue, so the employee was not entitled to sue the employer in the court, the Ontario Workplace Safety and...more

8/30/2013 - Canada Motorcycle Accidents OHSA Parking Lots Safety Precautions

Safety Professional Was Unionized Position: Arbitrator

An employer has been unsuccessful in its bid to keep a newly-created “capital safety planner” position out of a union bargaining unit....more

5/9/2013 - Arbitration Canada Safety Precautions Unions

Angry Confrontation Of Employee By A Manager Could Be Safety Issue: OLRB

In what appears to be a departure from a growing line of cases, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has permitted an employee to advance her claim that the employer violated the Occupational Health and Safety Act when it fired...more

5/7/2013 - Canada Hiring & Firing OHSA Safety Precautions Termination

City Reasonably Relied On Engineer’s, Architect’s Stamp: OHSA Charge Dismissed In Wall Collapse Case

The City of Guelph acted reasonably when it relied on the stamped drawing of an architect and engineer as evidencing compliance with all legal requirements, an Ontario judge has held in dismissing an Occupational Health and...more

4/25/2013 - Canada OHSA Safety Precautions

“E-Learning” Safety Orientation Module Coming Soon In Ontario; Printed Copies Of MOL Safety Orientation Materials Now Available

Worker safety orientation is expected to become mandatory in Ontario on January 1, 2014, as we have previously advised. The Ontario Ministry of Labour is developing an e-learning module that workers and supervisors can take...more

4/16/2013 - Canada E-Learning OHSA Safety Precautions Safety Training

Safety Violations Get 37-Year Employee Fired For Cause

We don’t often hear of 37-year employees being fired for just cause. An arbitrator has recently upheld the dismissal of a long-service unionized employee for safety violations....more

4/15/2013 - Canada Hiring & Firing OHSA Safety Precautions Safety Violations Unions

Court Dismisses Safety-Reprisal Complaint Related To Family Dispute

An employee who claimed that he was dismissed after sharing his concerns about the well-being of himself and his children and the “lifestyle of their mother”, has been denied a remedy under the safety-reprisal provisions of...more

3/27/2013 - Canada Hiring & Firing Retaliation Safety Precautions Termination

Supervisor’s OHSA Violation Grounds Criminal Negligence Charge

A supervisor’s violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act can ground a criminal negligence charge against him, an Ontario preliminary inquiry judge has decided, sending the criminal charges to trial. We reported on...more

3/12/2013 - Criminal Negligence Safety Precautions Workplace Injury

Safety Manual “Lacking In Efficiency” – Employer Convicted Under OHSA

An Ontario justice of the peace has held that an employer’s safety manual was defective, and has convicted the employer of four charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act....more

3/8/2013 - Employee Handbooks OSHA Safety Manuals Safety Precautions Workplace Injury

Unsafe-Truck Complaint Gets Probationary Employee Fired – And Damages For Safety-Reprisal

An Ontario employer has been ordered to pay 24 weeks’ wages to a 12-week probationary employee who was fired after complaining about numerous safety issues with a company truck he was driving which hauled steel....more

3/7/2013 - Adverse Employment Action Hiring & Firing Safety Precautions Termination

Farm Employer Guilty: “Accident Waiting To Happen” In Case Of Sinking Trailer That Rose Again

A farm employer has been convicted of a charge under the Occupational Health and Safety Act where portable steps being used by the employer were “not even barely adequate”....more

3/1/2013 - Ministry of Labour OHSA Safety Precautions Workplace Injury

Work Refusal Process May Not Be Used To Challenge Employer’s Established Practices: OLRB

In a long-running and bitterly-fought case involving prison guards, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has held that the work refusal process under the Occupational Health and Safety Act may not be used to challenge existing...more

2/5/2013 - Ministry of Labour OHSA OLRB Prison Guards Refusal to Work Safety Precautions

Ontario MOL’s Winter Safety Blitzes

Ontario Ministry of Labour inspectors are conducting a winter safety blitz looking for the following...more

1/22/2013 - Harassment Ministry of Labour Safety Laws Safety Precautions Workplace Hazards Workplace Violence

No Automatic OHSA Liability After Equipment-Failure Accident: Charge Dismissed Where Use Of Equipment Not “Likely”

Employers are not required to anticipate all safety hazards, however unforeseeable. A recent case illustrates this point. In a tragic accident, a worker died when a brace (which formed part of a makeshift winch used to...more

1/17/2013 - Employer Liability Issues Equipment Failure OHSA Safety Precautions Wrongful Death

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