Workplace Safety Canada

News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

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

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

Ontario Bill Proposes to Create “Health and Safety Management System” under OHSA

The Ontario government has introduced legislation that seeks to, among other things, provide for the establishment of employer “health and safety management systems” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act....more

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

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

Employer’s Safety Concerns Were Not Sufficient to Avoid its Obligations Under its Collective Agreement

An Employer was required to revert to a previous shift schedule in accordance with its obligations under the collective agreement, notwithstanding its claim that the previous shift schedule was less safe....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

OLRB dismisses union’s “fishing expedition” in safety case: documents requested from MOL and employer were not arguably relevant

The Ministry of Labour and the employer were not required to hand over certain documents requested by the union in a safety dispute, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has decided. The issue in dispute was whether the...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

After accepting guilty plea, prosecutor cannot reargue trial court’s decision to exclude evidence of worker’s injury when setting...

The Ministry of Labour cannot reopen a Justice of the Peace’s decision to exclude evidence that a worker was injured, where the defendant company later pleaded guilty to Occupational Health and Safety Act charges and the...more

Men without hardhats: where freedom of religion loses out to workplace safety

Freedom of religion and the duty to accommodate within the workplace context is a highly important issue in Québec given the discrimination provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as the Québec...more

Worker entitled to asbestos records for government building he worked in, but not list of employees in building

A worker was entitled to asbestos records for the government building he worked in. However, he was not entitled to a list of government employees who worked in the building and therefore who may have been exposed to...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

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

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

Employer loses wrongful dismissal case after court finds safety rules unclear

An employer has lost a wrongful dismissal case after a court found that its safety rules, which it alleged the employee violated, were unclear and not clearly-communicated. The employee worked at a solid waste facility...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

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