A company that provided traffic control services has lost an appeal of two compliance orders issued against it under occupational health and safety legislation.
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A defunct mining company that went out of business in 2016 has been fined $1.3 million under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act after being found guilty on six charges. This is one of the largest OHSA fines in Ontario history. However, it should be noted that the company, First Nickel Inc., did not defend this Ministry of Labour prosecution.
It is no secret that temporary workers (there are 747,000 of them in Ontario) face vastly more dangerous working conditions than permanent employees. WSIB statistics show that temp workers in non-clerical environments such as factories and warehouses were “more than twice as likely to get hurt on the job in 2016 as non-temp counterparts”.
Recently, WorkSafeBC released its 2018-2020 Construction High Risk Strategy, a plan to reduce the number of serious injuries in the construction sector. On average, serious injuries occur far more often in construction than in any other sector in British Columbia. Falls from height are the leading cause of injury and asbestos continues to be the leading cause of death.
On March 8th, the Minister of Labour announced to the Toronto Star that the province would make a small but significant change to the way employers are punished when a worker gets injured.
Over the past decade, the word “change” has been synonymous with health and safety in Ontario. We have seen an overhaul of the health and safety framework resulting in the creation of a Prevention Council and Chief Prevention Officer, mandatory training requirements such as worker and supervisor awareness and we have also seen the creation of training standards for working at heights in construction, and Joint Health and Safety Committees.
Benefits are always a hot topic in employment law. On January 1, 2018 the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) introduced Children and Youth Pharmacare, drug coverage for children and youth, who are otherwise covered by OHIP and aged 24 and under. OHIP is the Ontario health insurer. Ontarians have health cards, which they present at the doctor, or x-ray clinic, or emergency room, etc., as proof that they are insured by the Province. Similar systems exist in Canada’s other provinces and territories. Delivery of health services is the jurisdiction of the provinces and territories and not the federal government. Using Ontario as an example, visitors and some categories of immigrants may not be able to access Ontario’s health care, because they are not insured by the province.
A judge in a recent wrongful dismissal action dismissed the plaintiff’s allegation that he was dismissed after making suggestions about improvements to the employer’s safety systems. The employee was a relatively short term employee (25 months), working as a Control Systems Specialist. His duties included designing, implementing and monitoring various control systems for machines manufactured by the employer.
The Occupational Health and Safety (“OHS”) legislation in Atlantic Canada and across the country recognizes the internal responsibility system. Everyone in the workplace is responsible for their own safety and the safety of co-workers. There is a right to refuse unsafe work and a duty to report unsafe conditions. The Prince Edward Island OHS Act for example provides:
Every workplace has hazards. However, there are hazards that are more common depending on which sector your workplace falls under. This month, we are featuring the Office Sector. We will discuss common hazards to look for to give Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC) an edge when it comes to spotting and controlling hazards during their monthly workplace inspections and making recommendations to the employer. For JHSC members, these are the hazards that require the most attention in an office setting:
Western Medical Assessments (WMA) provides expert medical assessment services to insurance companies, lawyers (both defense and plaintiff) and employers. Our reputation as one of Canada’s most respected disability assessment companies is premised on our trusted network of thousands of clinical experts — mostly specialists — across all medical disciplines (physical and psychological). We’ve been entrusted to complete 63,000 independent medical examinations (IMEs) as our clients appreciate our medical direction, evidence-based medical opinions and complete independence from any ethical conflicts of interest.