News & Analysis as of

Workplace Safety Canada

Supreme Court Upholds Termination for Breach of Drug and Alcohol Policy

by Bennett Jones LLP on

The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Stewart v. Elk Valley Coal Corp., 2017 SCC 30 is good news for employers. The Court upheld the prior decisions of the Alberta Court of Appeal and Alberta Human Rights Tribunal,...more

Labour and Employment Alert: SCC Finds No Discrimination for Terminating Employee in Alberta Drug Addiction Case

by Field Law on

On June 15, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Stewart v. Elk Valley Coal Corp. and upheld the Alberta Court of Appeal’s ruling that an employer can terminate an employee for breaching a drug and...more

The Impact of Bill 132: Understanding and Applying Ontario’s Recent Sexual Harassment and Violence Legislation

In recent years, a number of high-profile cases involving sexual violence and sexual harassment have grabbed the headlines and the public’s attention in Canada. The troubling case of Jian Ghomeshi—and the subsequent...more

Workwise: Province Announces New Partnership with Police to Investigate Serious Workplace Safety Incidents

by Field Law on

The Government of Alberta has announced a new partnership with ten different police agencies across the province to define protocols for the investigation of serious workplace occupational health and safety (OHS) incidents....more

Alberta government signs Memorandum of Understanding with police services setting out new procedures for investigating serious...

by Dentons on

The government of Alberta and 10 police services recently signed the Westray Memorandum of Understanding. The announcement was made on the National Day of Mourning, which this year commemorates the 25th anniversary of the...more

B.C. bans employers’ mandatory high heels policies in some workplaces: amendments to footwear regulations now in effect

by Dentons on

On April 7, 2017, the British Columbia government amended the footwear regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, BC Reg 296/97 (the “Regulation”) to specify that employers cannot require a worker to wear...more

Loader operator entitled to remain in job despite accidents: insufficient warnings and training, decides arbitrator

by Dentons on

A labour arbitrator has ordered an employer to return an employee to his loader operator  position despite the employer’s objection that the employee had caused accidents. ...more

Ontario Court Allows Workplace Random Drug and Alcohol Testing to Proceed

In April 2017, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice allowed the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) to proceed with implementing random drug and alcohol testing of safety-sensitive employees, pending the outcome of an ongoing...more

New Requirements for BC Joint Health and Safety Committees

by Dentons on

If you operate a workplace in British Columbia with 10 or more workers, you may need to make some changes to your workplace health and safety practices....more

Safety officer, fired after company loses COR certification, wins wrongful dismissal lawsuit

by Dentons on

A safety officer whose duties included maintaining his employer’s Certificate of Recognition (COR) certification was not fired for just cause, a court has decided. The company claimed that it lost its COR certification due to...more

Employers, Spike Those “High Heels” Dress Code Requirements!

British Columbia has recently amended its health and safety law to prohibit employers from requiring employees to wear high heels to work. Maybe this isn’t too big a deal in an office environment, but there are some...more

Court Allows the TTC to Implement Random Drug and Alcohol Testing

by Dentons on

In a recent decision, the Honourable Justice Marrocco of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice denied the request of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 and Robert Kinnear (the “Applicants”) to restrain the TTC from...more

Workers flee during MOL investigation, roofing company fined for obstructing inspector

by Dentons on

A roofing company has been fined $40,000 under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, including $15,000 for obstructing a Ministry of Labour inspector. The MOL inspector had gone to the site because of a complaint. He...more

OLRB confirms 30-day hard-stop deadline for appealing Ontario MOL inspectors’ compliance orders

by Dentons on

A recent Ontario Labour Relations Board decision confirms that the 30-day deadline for appealing Ministry of Labour health and safety inspectors’ compliance orders under the Occupational Health and Safety Act cannot not be...more

Arbitrator disagrees that grievor’s interference with air quality test was a deliberate act of sabotage and replaces termination...

by Dentons on

In this recent Alberta arbitration case, the employer had been dealing with safety issues involving excessive carbon monoxide levels. Carbon monoxide readings in the employer’s facility were often beyond the regulatory levels...more

Threats of violence, one day after “sensitivity training”, get worker fired for cause. He “may have a problem with women in the...

by Dentons on

A worker who said, “If anything ever happened, like losing my job, I’d have no problem coming in here and shooting them”, a day after receiving sensitivity training relating to workplace violence, was dismissed for cause, an...more

“Safety Engineering Letter of Opinion” dealing with OHSA obligations disallowed by court in civil lawsuit

by Dentons on

A “Safety Engineering Letter of Opinion”, styled as an “expert report” and covering Occupational Health and Safety Act obligations, was struck and its author was prohibited from testifying at the trial of a civil lawsuit....more

MOL Clarifies its Interpretation of “Critical Injury”

by Dentons on

The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act requires employers to report fatalities and “critical injuries” to the Ontario Ministry of Labour. The Ministry of Labour has recently released clarification on its...more

Appeal Court Revives Class Action against the WSIB

by Dentons on

The Ontario Court of Appeal has revived a proposed class action brought by the appellant, Pietro Castrillo, on behalf of a class of injured workers whom he alleges have been wrongfully denied the full extent of benefits to...more

Is compliance with industry standards enough to establish due diligence? Alberta Court of Appeal set to consider this issue

by Dentons on

We recently wrote about the decision in R. v. Precision Drilling Canada Ltd., where the Appeal Judge set aside the trial verdicts and ordered a new trial in a workplace fatality case. The Crown sought leave to appeal that...more

Injured worker’s claim lacked the “something more” needed to establish personal liability against employer’s directors

by Dentons on

The Alberta Court of Appeal has confirmed that in order for a director of a corporate employer to be found personally liable for damages sustained by one of the corporation’s workers in a workplace accident, there must be...more

The death of an employee due to the collapse of trench walls: Superior Court confirms the employer’s committal for trial for...

by Dentons on

In the recent decision Fournier c R.[1], the Superior Court of Quebec confirmed that an employer’s violations of health and safety legislation can be the underlying unlawful act on which is based a criminal charge of...more

Trial judge’s misapprehension of the evidence results in new trial for workplace fatality

by Dentons on

We previously posted about the trial decision in R. v. Precision Drilling Ltd., 2015 ABPC 115 (CanLII), where the court found the employer guilty of two charges arising from a workplace fatality at a drilling rig. The...more

Labour Board dismisses safety complaint filed 2.5 years after the fact

by Dentons on

A worker who filed a safety-reprisal complaint 2.5 years after the events complained about has had his complaint dismissed for delay. The worker’s complaint related to events that took place in June of 2013.   He...more

Having failed to obtain and review proper operating manual for machine, employer and supervisor convicted under OHSA

by Dentons on

An employer and supervisor who failed to obtain an operator’s manual for a rip saw, and therefore failed to follow it, have been found guilty of offences under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act. The charges...more

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