Occupational Health and Safety Act

News & Analysis as of

“An employee does not necessarily get one free sexual harassment before he loses his job”, says arbitrator in upholding dismissal...

An arbitrator has upheld the dismissal of a unionized employee for one incident of sexual harassment and threats on Facebook. After an incident at work in which the grievor was displeased with “X”, a female co-worker,...more

Ebola Preparedness for Employers: U.S. OSHA Launches Ebola Web Page

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched an Ebola Web Page for employers providing information on Ebola and how to protect workers. OSHA states that workers, including...more

Worker who spread rumour that MOL inspector “paid off” by company, and that company was closing, was fired for cause

A worker who contacted a Ministry of Labour inspector with safety concerns but didn’t get the answer he wanted, and then spread rumours that the MOL inspector had been “paid off” by the company, was dismissed for cause, an...more

Owner/developer was not responsible for civil damages sustained in a workplace incident 20 years ago

Over 20 years after a workplace incident that seriously injured a worker, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench has dismissed the worker’s civil action against a developer. The worker had been working on a rooftop of a...more

Employee Dismissed for Demanding Bonus and Saying that Employer “Could Fire Him”, Not For Raising Safety Concerns, Court Decides

An employee’s demand for a bonus and assertion that his employment relationship would not be “fruitful” and that his employer could fire him, was the reason for his dismissal, a court has decided. The dismissal was not...more

Ontario Government Responds to Early Results of Mine Safety Review

In December 2013, the province asked Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer to undertake a review of the occupational health and safety issues related to the mining sector, focusing first on underground mines. The review...more

“Discipline” included “dismissal”: employer did not breach safety-reprisal settlement when it dismissed employee after harassment...

An employer that dismissed an employee after a harassment investigation did not breach a previous safety-reprisal settlement with the employee, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has held. In effect, the employer never...more

Employee’s lack of knowledge of OHSA was factor in denying him promotion; employee’s grievance dismissed

An employee’s lack of knowledge of safety laws was a proper consideration in his employer’s decision to deny him a promotion, a labour arbitration board has decided. The employee, a unionized mechanic with the City of...more

No OHSA Charges Laid in Death of Alberta Youth Home Worker

A 19-year-old has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder after he stabbed to death a youth worker at a supported independent living facility in Alberta in 2012. At the time of her death, the worker was working alone...more

No damages awarded for unforeseeable workplace assault, but employer ordered to rewrite harassment policy

The fact that an employee had engaged in harassment did not make it foreseeable that he would assault a coworker, a labour arbitrator has held. However, the company’s harassment policy was deficient and needed to be...more

Ontario OHSA convictions at six-year low in 2013/14, average fine relatively steady

The number of Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act convictions was at a six-year low in the government’s fiscal 2013/14 year, Ontario Ministry of Labour statistics show. There were 780 convictions in 2013/14,...more

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

Notes taken post-accident can lose privilege if used to refresh memory, court decision suggests

Privileged notes taken by a witness – or by the employer from a witness – after a workplace accident may cease to be privileged if used by the witness to prepare to testify in court, a recent court decision...more

Ontario Bill to extend protection of OHSA to unpaid trainees

A new Ontario Bill will give unpaid trainees the protection of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The OHSA currently gives that protection to paid workers only. The current definition of “worker” under the OHSA...more

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

“Disgruntled and aggressive clients” posed safety threat under OHSA

An employee who was fired one day after complaining to the Ministry of Labour that she felt threatened by “disgruntled and aggressive clients” was entitled to damages for the retaliatory discharge, the Ontario Labour...more

Improving warehouse safety for workers

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, there are more than 7,000 warehouses across the U.S., employing over 145,000 workers. Even in the safest of facilities, warehouse employees can face a number of...more

Less than a Month to Go: Top Six Tips on Mandatory Occupational Health and Safety Training in Ontario

Effective July 1, 2014, employers in Ontario will be required to ensure that all workers and supervisors have completed a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program as soon as practicable, pursuant to the...more

Canada Day deadline: Less than One Month to Complete Safety Awareness Training

Employers have less than one month to ensure that their workers and supervisors complete the mandatory “basic occupational health and safety awareness training” by July 1, 2014. This training is mandatory for all...more

“Everyone just knew” was not a defence to OHSA charges: court

An employer’s assertion that “everyone just knew” the safety rules, was not a defence to charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, an Ontario court has held. The employer’s “casual, oral practice” – without a...more

Government OHSA advisors must be licenced paralegals, court decides

Employees of Ontario’s Office of the Worker Advisor and Officer of the Employer Advisor who provide legal services relating to the Occupational Health and Safety Act must be licensed paralegals, an Ontario judge has decided....more

Saskatchewan Repeals its OHS Act and brings into force a new Employment Act

If you are doing business in Saskatchewan, you should consider whether this legal change applies to your operations. If it does, you should also stay alert to the next expected changes. This is particularly the case if you...more

Two Months Until July 1 Safety Awareness Training Deadline: Will You Be Compliant?

The July 1, 2014 deadline is quickly approaching. Employers in Ontario have two months to ensure that their workers and supervisors complete “basic occupational health and safety awareness training” before the deadline....more

Worker, Caught By MOL Inspector, Given Significant Fine For Safety Violation

An Ontario construction worker has been fined $1,500.00 after jumping from a hoist tower to a nearby roof. Unfortunately for the worker, a Ministry of Labour inspector saw him do it. ...more

Not Harassment To Remind Nurses Of Professional Obligations, Arbitrator Says

It was not “harassment” for a manager to mention the College of Nurses of Ontario and remind nurses of their professional obligations, an arbitrator has held....more

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