Occupational Health and Safety Act

News & Analysis as of

HRTO settlement did not bar employment standards and OHSA complaints relating to time period after settlement

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has held that Minutes of Settlement signed in the settlement of an application at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, barred the employee from advancing employment standards and health and...more

Bill 132: Ontario’s New Sexual Violence and Harassment Legislation

The Ontario Government recently introduced Bill 132, An Act to amend various statutes with respect to sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence and related matters as a response to the Government’s “It’s Never...more

Employer ordered to reinstate labourer fired day after complaining about knee pain, safety issue

An employee has won a reinstatement order under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after the Ontario Labour Relations Board held that he was fired for raising safety issues. The employee complained to a company...more

New Employer Duties under Ontario’s Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan

Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2015 (Bill) contemplates amendments to six pieces of legislation, including Ontario’s...more

Employee required to produce his medical file to employer in accommodation grievance

After an employee’s union grieved that the employer had failed to return him to work “notwithstanding that he has provided all requested medical information”, the employee has been ordered to produce much of his medical file...more

Experts Alone Cannot Save You - Australia Labour, Employment Workplace Safety Alert

A recent decision by the NSW Industrial Court (Court) is a further reminder that businesses can't hide behind appointed experts or delegate their safety obligations and responsibilities to others. It is also a reminder that...more

OHSA duties did not require employer to issue public response to “smear campaign” against non-racialized jail employees:...

An adjudicator has held that the Occupational Health and Safety Act‘s “general duty” clause did not require an employer to issue a public response to a “smear campaign” by one employee and his lawyer against non-racialized...more

Post-accident remedial measures were a “small bit of common-sense engineering”, relevant evidence in finding company guilty of...

An employer’s post-accident efforts to fix a safety issue were relevant to the issue of whether it had violated the Occupational Health and Safety Act at the time of the accident, an Alberta judge has held....more

Recent Amendments to the Workers Compensation Act give WorkSafeBC Enhanced Compliance Powers

Recent changes to the Workers Compensation Act in British Columbia (the Act) significantly enhance WorkSafeBC’s ability to enforce occupational health and safety compliance. These include...more

Safety contractor wins appeal of $1,000 administrative penalty under OHSA

Don’t be seen to cause a traffic jam that inconveniences a government health and safety officer. Perhaps that is the real moral of this story. A safety contractor was providing traffic control services on the...more

Business owner facing criminal and provincial charges in workplace death

Both the RCMP and provincial health and safety officials have laid charges against an owner of a body shop in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia after a worker died. The worker was killed when the vehicle he was working on caught...more

Can provincial OHSA legislation apply across borders? Ontario OHSA protects employee for safety concerns raised while temporarily...

The question often arises as to whether occupational health and safety legislation in an employee’s home province protects him or her when temporarily working in another province.  According to one recent Ontario Labour...more

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

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

“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

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

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

“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

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

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

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

“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

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

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

Bill 42: Towards a central portal in labour and employment

On April 15, 2015, the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity tabled Bill 42 in the Québec National Assembly. The Bill is titled, An Act to group the Commission de l'équité salariale, the Commission des normes...more

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