Occupational Health and Safety Act

News & Analysis as of

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

OSHA’s “Perp Walks” for the Week of October 24th

OSHA has long bemoaned that the Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSH Act”) does not allow OSHA to issue penalties sufficiently high enough to deter noncompliance. While reasonable minds can disagree about the sufficiency...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

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

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