Occupational Health and Safety Act

News & Analysis as of

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

Supervisor’s OHSA conviction upheld on appeal: prosecutor not required to prove what “hazard” caused concrete worker’s death

A supervisor’s Occupational Health and Safety Act conviction of failing to sufficiently and competently supervise work has been upheld on appeal, after a concrete worker died. The supervisor operated and managed a...more

High school machine shop teacher loses work refusal case

A machine shop teacher’s work refusal was not justified, an appeals tribunal has decided, given that the teacher had the ability to manage the class environment to ensure safety. The teacher refused to teach the class if...more

Workplace Harassment Obligations Expanding for Ontario Employers

Effective September 8, 2016, Ontario’s Bill 132, the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment) expands an employer’s obligation to identify, prevent,...more

OHSA conviction, $48,000 fine upheld on appeal: “blocking” of machine required physical block

An Ontario Appeal judge has upheld an employer’s conviction under the Occupational Health and Safety Act for failure to “block” a machine, after the trial justice held that “blocking” required a physical block, not simply...more

“Reputable and responsible” owner / operator guilty of OHSA charge after drill rig collapse at York University

After a dramatic and tragic incident in which a large drill rig fell over at York University, fatally injuring a backhoe operator and badly injuring an excavator operator, the company that owned and operated the rig has been...more

Bill 132 Update: MOL Releases Code of Practice to Help Employers Comply with OHSA’s Harassment Provisions

Further to our series of posts on Ontario’s new Sexual Violence and Harassment Legislation, which amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Ontario Ministry of Labour has recently issued a Code of Practice to Address...more

WHS Update: Officer liability

The Model Act New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Territories have broadly similar WHS laws based on the model Act developed by Safe Work Australia (Model Act). Under the Model Act, officers...more

Despite employee’s concerns with speed, quality and outcome of harassment investigation, no reprisal under OHSA

Even though an employer’s harassment investigation was allegedly slow, inadequate and had a questionable outcome, the employee had not suffered a “reprisal” under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Ontario...more

Bartender, fired for smoking marijuana at work, loses human rights complaint

A B.C. bartender has lost his human rights compliant after he was dismissed for smoking marijuana on shift. The bartender also served as assistant manager of the restaurant. The employer had a policy that prohibited...more

GHS Update: Government of Canada introduces new regulations for protection for workers handling hazardous materials

The Government of Canada has announced that new Occupational Health and Safety regulations under the Canada Labour Code, which are intended to better protect federally regulated workers who use, handle and store hazardous...more

Unauthorized supervisor decided to “solve the problem himself”, caused accident – OHSA charges against company dismissed

An employer has beat occupational health and safety charges laid after its supervisor caused an explosion when he defied instructions and took it upon himself to use a torch to thaw ice that had accumulated in a culvert....more

The Countdown is On: The New OHSA Amendments Come into Force in Less Than 60 Days

As we previously reported, the amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act introduced by Ontario’s Sexual Violence and Harassment Legislation, An Act to amend various statutes with respect to sexual violence, sexual...more

The Countdown is On: The New OHSA Amendments Come into Force in Less Than 60 Days

As we previously reported, the amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act introduced by Ontario’s Sexual Violence and Harassment Legislation, An Act to amend various statutes with respect to sexual violence, sexual...more

Delay in OHSA prosecution was not unreasonable: charges not stayed

Even though the case took more than two years to get to trial, an Ontario court has refused to halt a prosecution of a company under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Charges were laid against a construction...more

Cha-Ching: The High Cost of Failing to Remedy Workplace Discrimination

Last week, Gretchen Carlson, the Fox News anchor, sued Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, accusing him of harassment and sexism. Though Ailes denies the allegations, the trial will be closely followed, both because of the...more

Court throws out MOL evidence due to late disclosure, notice in OHSA prosecution

An Ontario judge has thrown out laser scan evidence due to the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s late disclosure and late notice to defence counsel that the MOL intended to present that evidence in court....more

Ontario’s Ministry of Labor Proposes to Mandate Construction Hazard Awareness Training

The Ministry of Labor has proposed amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation (O. Reg. 297/13) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS Act). These amendments would apply to...more

Alberta court of appeal dismisses worker’s appeal In his 20+ year old case against a developer

The Alberta Court of Appeal has recently confirmed that an owner/developer of a condominium conversion project was not liable for damages in a civil action commenced by a worker....more

Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act

Ontario’s new sexual violence and harassment law, the “Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act, 2015” comes into force on September 8, 2016. The new law, which arises from the Ontario Government’s report, “It’s Never...more

Workplace Harassment, a Changing Legislative Landscape

There are legislative changes on the horizon that will affect Ontario workplaces as part of the Ontario government’s “It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment.” Bill 132, Sexual Violence...more

Reverse burden of proof sinks no-show employer: OLRB awards more than $25,000 for safety-reprisal

An employer that failed to attend a safety-reprisal hearing has been ordered to pay two employees damages of more than $25,000.00. The employees filed an application with the Ontario Labour Relations Board claiming that...more

Is Your Organization Prepared for Ontario Bill 132?

On September 8, 2016, new legislation in Ontario will go into effect requiring employers to investigate incidents or complaints of harassment or sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers with employees in Ontario will...more

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