Workplace Injury Occupational Health and Safety Act

News & Analysis as of

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

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

$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

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

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

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

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

Ontario OHSA convictions, fines inch up in 2014/15, MOL field visits at 11-year low

While the number of field visits conducted by Ontario Ministry of Labour inspectors continued to decline in 2014/15, the number of convictions increased slightly, the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s “Occupational Health & Safety...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

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

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

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

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

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

Company that “met or exceeded many industry standards in its operations” still found guilty of OHSA charges

Exceeding industry standards does not, on its own, protect employers from health and safety convictions or fines, a recent court decision shows. A roofing company was charged with two offences under the Ontario Occupational...more

Aggravated damages awarded under OHSA for retaliatory firing

An employer has been ordered to pay aggravated damages – in addition to lost wages – after firing an employee in retaliation for raising safety issues. The employee worked at a hair salon. She suffered an injury at work as a...more

“Flagrant disregard” of OHSA, failure to report, gets construction company convicted on 5 OHSA charges

A construction company that tried to blame a worker’s fall on his untied boots, has been found guilty of all 5 charges against it under Saskatchewan’s The Occupational Health and Safety Act. The 18-year-old worker, who had...more

OHSA charges were adequately particularized, court finds: disclosure showed violations Crown intended to prove

A judge has rejected an employer’s argument that Occupational Health and Safety Act charges against it were unclear and that the Crown was required to provide further “particulars” of the charges so the employer could defend...more

Constructor made mistake of law, not fact: convicted of OHSA charge

A constructor that argued the “mistake of fact” due diligence defence was instead found to have made a “mistake of law” and was convicted of a charge under the Occupational Health and Safety Act....more

Having an active joint health and safety committee can help employers defend against OHSA charges, court decision suggests

An Ontario court has dismissed charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after two incidents which the joint health and safety committee did not identify as posing a “high priority” safety concern....more

Two company directors jailed 25 days after worker dies, no safety training provided

Rarely are senior corporate officials jailed for health and safety offences in Canada.  But recently, two company directors of an importer and retailer of furniture and accessories, were jailed for 25 days after a worker died...more

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