Workplace Safety Canada

News & Analysis as of

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

$5.3 million fine in Sunrise Propane case after joint prosecution under OHSA and EPA

Some cases illustrate very well the principle that “the more dangerous your operation, the more careful you must be”.  This case, involving a joint prosecution by the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Environment, is one of...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

Summary of judge’s reasons for giving Kazenelson, “unquestionably a person of good character”, a 3 1/2 year jail sentence for...

The judge’s reasons for sending Metron Construction’s project manager, Vadim Kazenelson, to jail for criminal negligence are now available. In our post of January 11th, we reported that the judge had sentenced Mr....more

3 1/2 years in prison for Metron project manager, Kazenelson, after criminal negligence conviction

Vadim Kazenelson, the project manager for Metron Construction, was sentenced today to 3½ years in prison for criminal negligence. This is the longest-ever jail sentence handed down for criminal negligence under the...more

“Industry standard” is not always appropriate safety precaution, and MOL inspector’s “gut instinct” is not enough to ground...

A mining company has won a lengthy dispute with the Ontario Ministry of Labour after satisfying the Ontario Labour Relations Board that the applicable “industry standard” was not appropriate in the case at hand. The...more

Does your safety policy require an accident investigation? Court suggests investigation file may not be litigation privileged

An Alberta judge has suggested that if a workplace safety policy or program requires that certain accidents be investigated, then the accident investigation reports may not be subject to litigation privilege – meaning that...more

Employee Satisfaction: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Many employers employ quantitative and qualitative tools to measure employee engagement and satisfaction in the workplace. As 2015 draws to a close, and we reflect on the events of the previous year and plan for 2016,...more

IRSST Publishes Best Practices Guidance for Nanomaterial Risk Management in the Workplace

On December 11, 2015, the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST), a leading occupational health and safety research center in Canada, published the second edition of its Best Practices...more

The Only Constant Is Change: Yet More Amendments to BC’s Workers Compensation Act

On October 7, 2015, we wrote about numerous changes that were being made to BC’s Workers Compensation Act (WCA) pursuant to Bill 9...more

New Training and Safety Requirements for Drill Rig Operators in Ontario

The Ontario government has passed amendments under the Occupational Health and Safety Act which provide new technical and operational safety measures and procedures for rotary foundation drill rigs, and require that drill rig...more

Canadian Employment News Series: Ontario’s New Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act: How the proposed legislation will...

The Ontario government introduced Bill 132, the “Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2015” (the “Act”) on October 27, 2015. This Act is part of...more

Misleading information about WHMIS training requirements

Work Safe Alberta has recently revised a Bulletin regarding some aggressive, high pressure sales tactics being used by some WHMIS training providers. The Bulletin serves as a reminder to Alberta employers that while WHMIS...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

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

U.S. OSHA and Health Canada continue “partnership” to coordinate labelling and classification of hazardous chemicals, implement...

Health Canada and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have announced that they will “continue their partnership” to “align United States and Canadian regulatory approaches regarding labelling and...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

Worker awarded WSIB benefits after health and safety officer “grabbed him and threw him to the ground”

In an unusual case, a construction site superintendent has won entitlement to workers compensation benefits after persuading an appeals tribunal that he was assaulted by his employer’s health and safety officer and was not an...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

Update on changes to WHMIS requirements and transition period

Work Safe Alberta has released an Occupational Health and Safety bulletin to assist Alberta employers and workers understand the impact of the recent amendments to the federal WHMIS legislation ( see my earlier blog post...more

WSIB Age Cut-off for Loss-of-Earnings Benefits not Discriminatory Against Older Workers: Court

Ontario’s Divisional Court has decided that the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act’s age cut-off for loss of earnings benefits for older workers did not violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms....more

“It is not the Board’s role to chase” unrepresented employee: safety-reprisal complaint dismissed

The Canada Industrial Relations Board has dismissed a safety-reprisal complaint where the employee, representing himself, missed deadlines and failed to respond to CIRB correspondence. The employee filed a complaint...more

“Zero tolerance”, automatic suspension approach to safety violations criticized, written warning substituted

Employers are increasingly taking a “zero tolerance” approach in which a minimum level of discipline – whether a suspension or dismissal – is imposed for certain serious safety violations. In a recent case, an arbitrator...more

Ontario Government Responds to Early Results of Mine Safety Review

In December 2013, the province asked Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer to undertake a review of the occupational health and safety issues related to the mining sector, focusing first on underground mines. The review...more

Saskatchewan Introduces Ticketing System for Certain Workplace Safety Violations

As of July 1, 2014, Saskatchewan employers who violate certain occupational health and safety laws may be issued a Summary Offence Ticket, which carry fines ranging from $250 to $1,000, depending on the offence (plus victim...more

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