Canada Occupational Health and Safety Act

News & Analysis as of

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

“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

MOL Clarifies its Interpretation of “Critical Injury”

The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act requires employers to report fatalities and “critical injuries” to the Ontario Ministry of Labour. The Ministry of Labour has recently released clarification on its...more

Is compliance with industry standards enough to establish due diligence? Alberta Court of Appeal set to consider this issue

We recently wrote about the decision in R. v. Precision Drilling Canada Ltd., where the Appeal Judge set aside the trial verdicts and ordered a new trial in a workplace fatality case. The Crown sought leave to appeal that...more

Injured worker’s claim lacked the “something more” needed to establish personal liability against employer’s directors

The Alberta Court of Appeal has confirmed that in order for a director of a corporate employer to be found personally liable for damages sustained by one of the corporation’s workers in a workplace accident, there must be...more

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

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

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

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

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

Ontario Bill Proposes to Create “Health and Safety Management System” under OHSA

The Ontario government has introduced legislation that seeks to, among other things, provide for the establishment of employer “health and safety management systems” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act....more

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

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

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

“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

New Alberta Bill 208 seeks to provide protection against workplace bullying

On November 9, 2016, Calgary MLA Craig Coolahan introduced Bill 208, Occupational Health and Safety (Protection From Workplace Harassment) Amendment Act, 2016. This Bill seeks to address workplace bullying by introducing...more

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

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

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

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

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

Bill 132 update: OHSA amendments are now in force; MOL updates plain language guide on workplace violence and harassment

As we have previously reported, Bill 132’s amendments to the workplace harassment provisions of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act came into force on September 8, 2016. On September 13, 2016, the Ministry of...more

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

“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

I’m an Ontario Employer—What Workplace Policies Do I Need to Have?

There are various workplace policies that a provincially-regulated Ontario employer must have as a matter of law (the vast majority of employers are provincially-regulated). There are other policies that, while not mandatory,...more

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