Project manager convicted of criminal negligence

October 04, 2015 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

by Norm Keith and Shane D. Todd

As another reminder of the importance of health and safety in all workplaces all across Canada, we report on the continuing legal saga involving the December 2009 fatalities at Metron Construction.

On June 26, 2015, Vadim Kazenelson, the project manager overseeing a construction project for Metron, was found guilty of five counts of criminal negligence in relation to a quadruple fatality on the project. As we approach the end of the Metron saga, we look back on the accident, the charges that flowed from it, and the impact on health and safety advice for employers. read more…

Occupational health and safety due diligence defense alive and well

June 21, 2015 - by: Rosalind Cooper 0 COMMENTS

by Rosalind H. Cooper

A recent case involving charges against a company under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act has confirmed that the defense of due diligence is alive and well. The defense of due diligence—which may allow employers to avoid a conviction under occupational health and safety legislation—can be difficult to establish. Even in cases where a worker is injured as a result of his or her own misconduct, the defense cannot always be made out. But in the right factual circumstances, it is still possible to successfully advance the due diligence defense notwithstanding the high standard applied. read more…

Health and safety laws broadened to cover unpaid positions

January 18, 2015 - by: Carla Oliver 0 COMMENTS

by Carla Oliver

Ontario recently broadened the definition of “worker” under its Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The broadened definition is consistent with a trend across Canada. read more…

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…

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