There are many rules and regulations that employers must follow to ensure workplace safety. The Ministry of Labour has just announced new rules relating to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (the “Act”), which make it even more important for employers to be aware of and comply with all of the rules contained within the Act.

Maximum corporate penalties have been increased from $100,000 to $500,000 for a corporation convicted of an offence under the Act. Offences include knowingly giving a false statement to the Board or willfully failing to inform the Board of a material change in circumstance related to an obligation of the employer within ten (10) days of the change. A new offence has also been created: it is now an offence for employers to prevent their employees from reporting their workplace injury or illness to the Board.

Various other changes include a change in the calculation of survivor benefits, and a new requirement that the WSIB appoint a Fair Practices Commissioner who will act as an ombudsman of the Board.

Given these new updates to the Act, employers should make sure to understand all of the requirements they face regarding workplace safety. Safety is a priority and the penalties for breaking the rules have just gotten higher.

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