Tag archives: occupational health and safety

The importance of timely legal advice in occupational health and safety investigations

Seeking legal advice not only allows an employer to ensure that they are conducting a proper accident investigation, but will also be critical in preserving legal privilege – meaning a document is protected as confidential in a legal process and shielded from adverse parties. On May 9, 2016 the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta … Continue reading

Key French employment law developments in 2017

As 2017 is a Presidential election year in France, we do not expect major changes in employment legislation to occur in France in the near future.  However, this does not mean that French employment lawyers will be unoccupied. First and foremost, the El Khomri law (dated 8 August 2016), which significantly modified the employment law … Continue reading

Small Businesses and the AODA: New Requirements as of January 1, 2017

Over the last few years, large Ontario employers have been busy implementing changes to their practices in order to meet new accommodation requirements under the Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). As of January 1, 2017, Ontario employers with fewer than 50 employees must now meet additional obligations with respect to employment standards and … Continue reading

Mining Industry Highlight: Failure to Provide Written Procedures Leads to $55,000 Fine for Employer

Following a Ministry of Labour investigation, a mining company was fined $55,000 on October 26, 2016 after an employee was injured at a mine in Northern Ontario. The employee, an underground mechanic, was replacing an axel on a mining vehicle when an 878-pound tire fell and injured him. Fortunately, three other employees were nearby to … Continue reading

OSHA workplace injury and illness tracking will go forward

Last week, a Texas federal judge handed the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) a victory by refusing to grant an injunction that sought to delay the implementation of the Agency’s rule regarding workplace injuries and illnesses. The new rule, entitled “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illness,” requires most employers to submit workplace injury … Continue reading

Arbitrator makes further determinations regarding influenza vaccination policies in hospitals.

With the cold weather setting in, flu season is officially in full swing. Last year, Arbitrator Jim Hayes considered whether hospitals could implement policies requiring nurses to either get the flu shot or wear a mask. In the test case decision of Sault Area Hospital and Ontario Nurses’ Association (“Sault Area Hospital”), Arbitrator Hayes found … Continue reading

Fair pay, safe workplaces, and federal contractors telling it like it is

On August 24, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Counsel issued a final rule to implement President Obama’s Executive Order 13673, entitled “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces,” first announced by the President over two years ago on July 31, 2014. According to the Federal Acquisition Institute, the purpose of E.O. … Continue reading

The Integrated Accessibility Standards Gets a Makeover

On July 1, 2016, the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service officially joins force with the Integrated Accessibility Standards, O. Reg 191/11 (“IASR”)  under the Accessibility for Ontarians Act (“AODA”). This amendment, encapsulated by O. Reg. 165/16 does bring a few minor changes: The training for accessible customer service has been expanded to all employees and … Continue reading

“Drilling” Down Ontario’s New Mining Health and Safety Regulations

Ontario mines will soon be facing a new regulatory environment. As of July 1st, 2016, Regulation 854 (Mines and Mining Plants) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act will contain new requirements that are aimed at improving workplace safety within Ontario mines. The amendments cover a wide variety of areas, including: Updated training requirements for … Continue reading

Retaliation and whistleblower claims in healthcare expected to remain high

The number of retaliation and whistleblower claims in the US continue to rise. According to data released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), retaliation claims made up 44.5 percent of all charges filed in 2015.  Also, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported a 6 percent increase in the number of whistleblower cases … Continue reading

Termination of employment for breaches of work health and safety laws

Ensuring safety compliance in the workplace can sometimes result in disciplinary action against employees who fail to comply with safety requirements. Unfair dismissal cases provide guidance to employers when it comes to the factors to take into account when terminating employment as a result of health and safety breaches. Cases show that bodies like the … Continue reading

Scents and Sensibility in Canadian Workplaces

When is an employee discriminated against because of odours in the workplace?  In the recent decision of Gillis and Nova Scotia (Public Service Commission), Re, (http://canlii.ca/t/gncqd), the Nova Scotia Labour Board considered this issue.  An employee advised management that scents worn by co-workers caused him dizziness, nausea, migraines, loss of appetite, insomnia, anxiety and depression.  … Continue reading

To name or not to name, that is the question…

Surprisingly, name tag policies have become the subject of recent litigation and labour board decisions on the topic have been hitting the news. However, the resulting litigation still leaves room for debate. In the recent decision of Prairie North Health Region v Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 5111, an arbitration board in Saskatchewan held that the policy … Continue reading

The News about Noise Regulation in Ontario

Under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), there have been a number of noise regulations for specific industries, but there had not been comprehensive noise regulations. A new regulation, Regulation 381/15: Noise was approved last month which will extend the noise protection requirements to all workplaces covered by OHSA. Previously, noise was regulated within … Continue reading

Investigating Workplace Violence under the Canada Labour Code

What responsibilities does a federal employer have to appoint a competent person to investigate a complaint of work place violence under the Canada Labour Code? The Federal Court of Appeal recently released Canada (Attorney General) v. Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), a decision which elaborates on this duty. In PSAC, the court was faced … Continue reading

Changes to UK employment law – October 2015

With effect from 1 October 2015 certain provisions affecting UK employment law under the Deregulation Act 2015, come into force. The changes are: The removal of the power of employment tribunals to make wider recommendations in successful discrimination cases. With effect from 1 October tribunals can only make recommendations relating to the individual complainant. The … Continue reading

Resources safety reforms on the way for Western Australia

The Western Australian State Government is currently seeking submissions from stakeholders on proposed reforms to safety laws in the resources industry. The resources sector in Western Australia (WA) has been given a preview of potential reforms to safety laws that are planned for commencement on 1 January 2017, with the release by the Department of … Continue reading

Coverage for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) broadened in Manitoba

The Manitoba government is introducing new amendments to the Workers Compensation Act that would make it easier for employees to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recognized as a work-related occupational disease. The legislation does that by creating the presumption that workers suffering from PTSD received the illness from the job, if diagnosed by a medical … Continue reading