Safety Task Force
See something unsafe on the job? Report it to the Ministry of Labour at 1-877-202-0008
(June 2019) WSIB Special Advisors Announced
An operational review of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has been initiated and has been tasked with the following:
- Financial Oversight: sustainability of the WSIB insurance fund and controls over it
- Administration: effectiveness of the current WSIB governance and executive management structure
- Efficiency: the cost-efficiency and effectiveness of operations, including comparisons to competing jurisdictions and private sector insurers
Insurance and public policy experts Linda Regner Dykeman and Sean Speer have been appointed as special advisors and are expected to provide a report to the Ontario government by the end of 2019.
(May 2019) Public Bodies Deemed “Non-Construction Employers”
The Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act (Bill 66) recently received Royal Assent and became law, meaning, among other changes, that the Labour Relations Act will be amended to deem public bodies, including municipalities, school boards, hospitals, colleges and universities, as “non-construction employers.” The Government expects that this change will increase competitiveness for broader public-sector construction projects. Click here to learn more.
(April 2019) Safe at Work Ontario: Slips, Trips, & Falls
MOL has launched Safe at Work Ontario: Slips, Trips, & Falls with the goal of raising awareness of hazards and increasing compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations.
Phase 1: Compliance Assistance Campaign (March 18–July 12, 2019)
Aimed at working with health and safety associations to raise awareness and provide resources, training, and education to comply with regulations before the inspection campaign begins.
Phase 2: Inspection Campaign (April 15–July 12, 2019)
Inspectors will conduct field visits to check that employers are complying with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations, and to raise awareness about specific issues at the workplaces they are visiting.
(March 2019) Working at Heights Training Prevents 111 Falls
Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) Ron Kelusky has just announced that the province’s mandatory working-at-heights (WAH) training has been effective. Since the program was launched in 2015, more than 550,000 Ontario workers, most of them in construction, have completed WAH training.
An independent study conducted by the Institute for Work & Health (WIH) found that training has resulted in a decrease of almost 20% in lost-time injury claims to the WSIB, or an estimated 111 falls from heights prevented. This represents nearly $5 million less in claims as well as savings for employers of between $27 and $36 million.
(February 2019) New Online Health & Safety Training
The Ministry of Labour will soon be offering Part One of the Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC) Certification Training Standard to be completed online. Part Two will continue to be delivered in a classroom setting, but the duration to complete the second part will be extended to one year after completing Part One.
This allows 50,000 Ontario workplaces to no longer require workers to complete the 5-day classroom course and is estimated to save businesses $5 million per year. These changes will come into effect after the updated Standard is posted later this year.
(November 2018) Major Workplace Changes
The newly-elected provincial government has introduced the Making Ontario Open for Business Act (Bill 47) which will repeal the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (Bill 148). If passed, this legislation would:
- Phase out the Ontario College of Trades, instead proposing a one-to-one journeyperson-to-apprentice ratio for every trade for which ratios apply,
- Cancel the scheduling provision which allowed employees to refuse work or be on-call when they are not scheduled to work with less than 96 hours’ notice
- Freeze the minimum wage at $14 an hour until 2020
- Re-allow employers to require medical notes from a qualified health practitioner
- Repeal equal pay for equal work based on employment status (full-time, part-time, casual, temporary)
- Cancel the two paid days of personal emergency leave and reduce unpaid personal emergency leave days from ten to eight: three for personal illness, two for bereavement, and three for family responsibilities
(October 2018) Cannabis Impairment on the Job
On October 17th, the sale, possession, and distribution of recreational cannabis was legalized across the country. The Association is dedicated to ensuring that our members have the necessary tools to prevent impairment on the job and are equipped to develop hazard prevention programs to uphold health and safety.
Many questions are still unanswered in relation to the effects of cannabis and the lasting effects of impairment, making it difficult for employers who require workers to handle machinery, operate from tall heights, and have uninhibited decision-making skills.
Working at Heights Training
Beginning April 1, 2015, employers in Ontario must ensure that workers on construction projects who may use certain methods of fall protection successfully complete ‘working at heights’ training that meets training program and provider standards established by the Chief Prevention Officer (CPO). The Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation (Ontario Regulation 297/13) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), has been amended to include mandatory working at heights training requirements. The working at heights training is valid for three years from the date the worker completes an approved training program delivered by an approved training provider. In addition to these new requirements, employers continue to have a duty under Section 26.2 (1) of O. Reg. 213/91 (Construction Projects) to ensure that workers who may use a fall protection system are adequately trained on the use of the system, and are given adequate oral and written instructions by a competent person. Click here to find out more: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/sawo/pubs/fs_wahconstruction.php
Prevent Falls on Construction Projects – Safety Tip Card
Visit the province’s page on preventing falls on construction projects here: https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/sawo/pubs/fs_construction.php
Ontario Increasing Maximum Fines for Workplace Health and Safety Violations
Ontario is enhancing protection for workers by increasing the maximum fines for individuals and businesses that don’t meet workplace health and safety standards.
The maximum fines for an offense under the Occupational Health and Safety has been increased from:
- $25,000 to $100,000 for an individual or unincorporated business (which had not changed since 1979)
- $500,000 to $1,500,000 for corporations (which had not changed since 1990)
Ontario also changed the time limit to allow for prosecution, from one year from the date of the offense, to one year from the date an inspector becomes aware of an alleged offense.
Keeping Workers Safe on Construction Sites
Ontario is helping to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities for workers on construction sites across the province through the implementation of its Construction Health and Safety Action Plan.
Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn announced the plan today at the construction site for the new courthouse in Toronto. Created with input from construction employers, workers and other industry stakeholders, Ontario’s plan contains 16 recommendations to strengthen the prevention of work-related injury and illness for construction workers on sites of all sizes across the province.
These recommendations include:
- Developing a web tool and mobile app to help employers and workers understand their health and safety obligations and rights for specific construction projects
- Building an online portal that allows building inspectors to report unsafe work practices to the government
- Increasing awareness about working-at-heights training requirements
You can find out more about this initiative by clicking HERE.
Suspended Access Equipment on Construction Projects – Guidance Document Released
This guideline is intended to assist designers, engineers, fabricators, owners and suppliers of suspended access equipment (SAE) by clarifying the intent and meaning of certain technical aspects of sections 136.1 to 142.06 applicable to suspended work platform systems and boatswain’s chairs found in Ontario Regulation 213/91, Construction Projects (the Construction Regulation) that came into effect on January 1, 2017.
B&CRAO had been aggressively advocating for the development and release of this technical guideline since the new SAE regulations were announced. You can find a copy of this document HERE.