But I Feel Like A Sausage – The OHSA Does Not Require Employer To Provide “Winter Coveralls”: Arbitrator


As tight as summer coveralls might be with winter clothing underneath, the Occupational Health and Safety Act does not require employers to provide winter coveralls to crane operators, a Newfoundland arbitrator has held.

The collective agreement required the employer to provide “coveralls”. The employer provided summer coveralls with reflective “visibility markings” and which also protected the employee’s clothing. The employer did not provide winter coveralls, which were lined on the inside and therefore warmer.

The crane operators complained that the summer coveralls were not warm enough in the winter and fit too tightly to wear enough clothes to keep warm. They said that although the crane cabs were heated, they were drafty and the door must be opened and closed frequently.

The arbitrator decided that the need to wear warmer clothing underneath the coveralls in winter “was not established as a health and safety regulation or a requirement of the Collective Agreement.” The safety issues – visibility and protection of clothing – was adequately addressed by the summer coveralls.

This case appears to be part of a trend of unions attempting to achieve certain job benefits – such as winter clothing – for employees on the basis of safety. Here, the union was unable to establish that the lining in winter coveralls was a safety requirement.

Resource Development Trades Council of Newfoundland and Labrador v. Long Harbour Employers Association Inc., 2013 CanLII 12447 (NL LA) (January 7, 2013)

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Dentons | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.