Employers need to understand injury reporting obligations

June 15, 2014 - by: Rosalind Cooper 0 COMMENTS

By Rosalind H. Cooper

In most provinces across Canada, occupational health and safety legislation requires that employers and other workplace parties report injuries and incidents to the appropriate government ministry.

While most reporting requirements relate to workplace injuries, there are also requirements to report certain types of incidents regardless of whether there is an associated injury. Most of these legislative provisions require strict compliance with tight reporting timelines. read more…

Hiring new and young staff this summer? Think safety first!

June 08, 2014 - by: Deanah Shelly 0 COMMENTS

By Deanah Shelly

A few summers ago, Ontario employers were surprised by a monthlong young worker safety inspection blitz. During the blitz, Ontario Ministry of Labour inspectors visited 2,024 workplaces across Ontario and issued 5,862 orders. Of those, 105 were stop-work orders, forcing workplaces to stop production until they complied with the listed requirements.

On May 1, 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Labour began yet another blitz — this time for four months and again focused on new and young worker safety. While this blitz is an Ontario initiative, many provinces across Canada are taking similar proactive measures to improve safety in the workplace for this group of vulnerable workers. read more…

Court sends supervisor to jail

April 13, 2014 - by: Antonio Di Domenico 0 COMMENTS

By Antonio Di Domenico

We know that Canadian courts are increasingly more willing to impose significant six- and seven-figure fines on employers convicted of criminal workplace negligence or occupational health and safety violations. Indeed, we reported on two recent examples—Vale Canada Limited and Metron Construction—where the companies were given record fines in these types of cases. read more…

When is a truck just a truck: the evolving definition of workplace

December 29, 2013 - by: Rosalind Cooper 0 COMMENTS

By Rosalind H. Cooper

As we reported earlier this year, Canadian courts are being asked with increasing frequency to expand the definition of “workplace” under occupational health and safety legislation. read more…

New occupational health and safety awareness training to be required in Ontario

December 22, 2013 - by: Patrick Gannon 0 COMMENTS

By Patrick Gannon

Occupational health and safety legislation in all provinces across Canada places the ultimate responsibility for occupational health and safety on employers. Among other things, Canadian employers have to provide certain information, instruction, and training to workers.

Last month, Ontario took occupational health and safety training to a new level, announcing that Ontario employers will have to ensure that all workers and supervisors have completed a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program. The Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation will take effect on July 1, 2014. It is the first regulation of its kind in North America. read more…

Canadian employers hit with record-setting occupational health and safety fines

October 06, 2013 - by: Norm Keith 0 COMMENTS

By Norm Keith

With the introduction of the Bill C-45 amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada, occupational health and safety regulation, prosecution and conviction have been on the rise across the country. Recently, Vale Canada Limited and Metron Construction were given record fines in occupational health and safety and criminal negligence convictions, respectively. read more…

Allergies in the workplace can’t be ignored

September 29, 2013 - by: Eowynne Noble 1 COMMENTS

By Eowynne Noble

Peanuts, gluten, perfumes, smoke, and latex—we all know allergies to these and other substances are on the rise. And workplaces aren’t immune to the problem. More and more employees are suffering from allergies and sensitivities than ever before.

To put it in perspective, Health Canada recently reported that up to four percent of Canadians have a physician-diagnosed food allergy. We understand that schools accommodate these types of allergies, but surely employers don’t have to. Not true, as was made clear in a recent Ontario arbitration decision, London Health Sciences Centre v. Ontario Nurses’ Association (LHSC v. ONA). read more…

Employee convicted of criminal negligence

September 08, 2013 - by: Antonio Di Domenico 0 COMMENTS

By Antonio Di Domenico

On March 22, 2006, B.C. Ferries’ vessel the Queen of the North missed a scheduled turn causing it to run aground and sink off the northern tip of Vancouver Island. Fifty-seven passengers and 42 crew members abandoned ship before it sank. Two passengers were never found and were declared dead.

On May 13, 2013, seven years later, Karl Lilgert, the Queen of the North’s navigation officer, was convicted of two counts of criminal negligence following a four-month jury trial. read more…

How far-reaching will the Irving Pulp & Paper decision be?

July 07, 2013 - by: Clayton Jones 0 COMMENTS

By Clayton Jones

Last week we told you about the recent decision in Irving Pulp & Paper where the Supreme Court of Canada severely limited an employer’s right to perform random alcohol and drug testing in the workplace. The implications of the Irving decision will undoubtedly be far-reaching, including on two prominent cases currently being heard by arbitrators in Alberta and British Columbia that deal with random drug testing–Suncor Energy and Teck (Coal). read more…

Expansion of workplace harassment and violence reprisal complaints?

June 02, 2013 - by: Rosalind Cooper 0 COMMENTS

By Rosalind H. Cooper

Most occupational health and safety statutes across Canada contain provisions that prohibit employer reprisals for workplace health and safety matters. While the outcome of complaints made by workers regarding employer reprisals is always fact specific, employers had been taking comfort from several recent decisions.

Those decisions suggested that complaints regarding employer reprisals in relation to allegations of workplace harassment couldn’t be sustained under health and safety legislation. However, a recent decision of the Ontario Labour Relations Board in Ashworth v. Boston Pizza, where an employee was terminated after her manager allegedly confronted her in an angry manner, has changed this view. read more…

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