Occupational Health and Safety Act

News & Analysis as of

Employer Obligations During the Fort McMurray Wildfire

The devastating impact of the wildfire that continues to burn throughout northern Alberta has left those directly affected with unanswered questions relating to sources of income and financial stability. Many workplaces have...more

City wins suspension of MOL inspector’s “constructor” order

A city has won a suspension of a Ministry of Labour inspector’s decision that the city was a “constructor” under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act on a watermain-improvement project....more

Internal Investigations and Privilege: A Redux

An internal investigation into a workplace accident was privileged, and thus protected from disclosure, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench recently held in Alberta v Suncor Energy Inc, 2016 ABQB 264 [Suncor]. The Court found...more

Watch Out: Ontario Ministry of Labour Inspection Blitzes/Initiatives Are Coming

The Ontario Ministry of Labour recently announced its 2016 and 2017 enforcement blitz and initiative schedule. In an effort to emphasize the importance of protecting workers’ rights and ensuring employer compliance with both...more

$250,000 fine against school board may be largest-ever against not-for-profit organization in Ontario

A school board has been handed a $250,000 fine under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act after the death of maintenance worker. The maintenance worker had been assigned the task of replacing a safety cage on a...more

Watch Out: Ontario Ministry of Labour Inspection Blitzes/Initiatives Are Coming

The Ontario Ministry of Labour recently announced its 2016 and 2017 enforcement blitz and initiative schedule. In an effort to emphasize the importance of protecting workers’ rights and ensuring employer compliance with both...more

Electrical contractor fined $537,500 after death of resident from faulty electrical work

An electrical contractor has been hit with a huge fine after its faulty electrical work led to a resident’s death. The contractor had installed an in-floor heating system in the bathroom of a home. The resident, an...more

Employee stopped production line “to be difficult”, not due to safety issue: work refusal not justified

An employee who shut down a production line allegedly because two other employees were fighting, was not exercising a proper work refusal under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has...more

Contractor loses lawsuit against city for alleged breaches of OHSA’s asbestos-disclosure rules

A construction contractor has lost its bid for damages from a city, relying on a little-used section of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act that permits contractors to sue a building owner for damages for failing...more

Ontario MOL now posting “de-identified” information on fatalities online, even before OHSA charges laid

Ontario workplace fatalities could now result in a “de-identified” posting on the Ministry of Labour’s website, even before Occupational Health and Safety Act charges are laid. The postings provide a brief description of the...more

Double (16-hour) shift was not prohibited by ESA or OHSA: arbitrator

A labour arbitrator has held that the practice of unionized long-term care home employees voluntarily working two 8-hour shifts in succession did not violate the Ontario Employment Standards Act or Occupational Health and...more

No contempt in the face of the “voluminous” British Columbia Occupational Health and Safety Regulation

In the wake of some recent high-profile workplace accidents, 2015 legislative amendments to the Workers Compensation Act were designed to give WorkSafeBC more tools to enforce its mandate. Among other things, WorkSafeBC can...more

Work refusal was motivated by employee’s dislike of work assignment, not by safety: when full disciplinary record considered,...

An arbitrator has upheld the dismissal of an employee who tried to use the Occupational Health and Safety Act’s work refusal provisions to avoid undesired work assignments. The employee worked for the City of Hamilton...more

General contractor, not present on job site, was still responsible for subcontractor’s safety: labour board

A general contractor on a residential project was responsible for the safety of its subcontractors even though it was not on site at the time of an incident. The general contractor objected to two compliance orders...more

Canada: Ontario Employers Have New Workplace Sexual Harassment Obligations

Bill 132, entitled “Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2015” (hereinafter the “Bill”) has now been passed into law in Ontario and will be in...more

New Sexual Harassment Laws Create Additional Obligations for Ontario Employers

Following high-profile sexual harassment cases involving public figures, it is not surprising that combating sexual violence and harassment in the workplace has become a priority for the Ontario Government. In March 2015, the...more

Bill 132 Update: Ontario’s Sexual Violence and Harassment Legislation to Become Law September 8, 2016

In a previous post, we reported on Ontario’s new sexual violence and harassment legislation, Bill 132, An Act to amend various statutes with respect to sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence and related...more

Teachers’ union fighting for right to refuse work due where students violent

A student’s violent acts in a classroom have led to a dispute about the circumstances in which teachers may engage in a work refusal for safety reasons. The student was described as having a “history of violent behavior”.  He...more

Canadian Employment News Series: Have a workplace Joint Health and Safety Committee? Certification requirements are changing in...

The certification requirements for Ontario workplace Joint Health and Safety Committee (“JHSC”) members are changing on March 1, 2016. These changes will impact all employers who are required to have a workplace JHSC....more

MOL’s incident-reporting training Order to mining company not suspended

A Ministry of Labour compliance Order issued against a mining company for allegedly failing to report an “uncontrolled fall of ground” should not be suspended pending the outcome of the employer’s appeal of that Order, the...more

Ontario Approves New Noise Regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)

Ontario’s Ministry of Labour approved a new Noise Regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) on December 9, 2015. This regulation (O. Reg. 381/15) replaces the noise protection requirements set out in the...more

Death of visitor leads to employer’s conviction, $100,000 fine under OHSA

This case is a reminder that injuries to non-employees can lead to Occupational Health and Safety Act convictions and fines against employers. A visitor to a self-storage facility in North Bay fell through an open hole...more

Ontario Court Sentences Project Manager to 3.5 Years in Jail for Fatal Workplace Accident

In a first for the province of Ontario, on January 11, 2016, a construction project manager charged and convicted under the Bill C-45 amendments to the Criminal Code was sentenced to serve time in prison for criminal...more

Criminal negligence causing death charge against auto mechanic reinstated by appeal court

A charge of criminal negligence causing death against an auto mechanic may proceed, the Ontario Court of Appeal has decided, holding that it was possible that a reasonable jury could find that the mechanic was a “significant...more

A first for Alberta – Employer sentenced to corporate probation and community service for violating the Occupational Health and...

In a unique decision, an Alberta employer, Needoba Construction Ltd., which pleaded guilty to the general charge of failing to ensure, as far as it is reasonably practicable to do so, the health and safety of a worker, has...more

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