Tag archives: occupational health and safety

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

Workplace injuries and risk regarding companies’ criminal responsibility

Since the amendments to the Criminal Code in 2004, Parliament armed itself with an arsenal of legal weapons aiming to facilitate criminal prosecutions against organizations in case of workplace injuries. These amendments provide that any act or omission that constitutes the failure of a legal duty reflecting wanton or reckless disregard for the life or … Continue reading

The Business Case for Safety

Work health and safety has often been viewed as a “cost centre” – a compliance-driven expenditure where spending is kept to the bare minimum to satisfy legal requirements. Most often, safety expenditure will be justified by reference to legally imposed penalties for non-compliance. Rarely will organisations view safety spending as an investment, even though productivity … Continue reading

Duty of care: an employee’s misconduct may be excused under some circumstances

The legal context Under French employment law, both employers and employees are under a duty of care which requires them to take health and safety considerations into account throughout the employment relationship. Although the employer’s duty of care is interpreted very extensively by case law, which does not entitle the employer to escape liability except … Continue reading

Does safety have to be compromised to avoid a legal headache?

Under work health and safety laws across Australia, employers have an obligation to provide employees and others (including the public) with a safe workplace.  At the same time, employers are also required to treat their employees fairly, particularly when terminating their employment[1]. Fulfilling both obligations simultaneously often creates a difficult task for employers, especially in … Continue reading

Legislative Changes to Labour and Employment Laws in Ontario for 2015

The Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014 received Royal Assent on November 20, 2014, amending five employment and labour statutes, including the Employment Standards Act, 2000, the Labour Relations Act, 1995, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act. This posting reviews some highlights of the amendments. Employment Standards Act As of February 20, 2015, the … Continue reading

Safety law reform coming for Western Australia

The Western Australian State Government is currently seeking submissions from industry on proposed reforms to safety laws in that State. Western Australia (WA) is the latest Australian jurisdiction to release a Bill based on the Model Work Health and Safety Bill (Model Bill), which has formed the basis for harmonised safety legislation enacted across Australia … Continue reading

Positive Investigation Methodology (PIM)

If traditional accident causation theory was truly sufficient for preventing incidents, wouldn’t we have learnt the lessons by now? When we look at incident investigation reports, we see the same lessons being learnt time and time again. Those who investigate incidents will no doubt be familiar with the drawbacks associated with traditional investigation techniques. With … Continue reading

Complying with Safety Orders Not Factor in Mitigating Sentence Says Court of Appeal

In, Ontario (Labour) v. Flex-N-Gate Canada Company, 2014 ONCA 53, an employer was fined $50,000 after an employee badly injured her foot and the employer was found to have breached two provisions of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), R.S.O 1990, c, O.1. This decision was an appeal, in part, from the Ontario Court of … Continue reading

Compliance with Ministry of Labour Order not Useful in Mitigating Sentence under OHSA

The Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled in Ontario (Labour) v Flex-N-Gate Canada Company that post-accident compliance should not be considered a mitigating factor in sentencing for a conviction under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”). An employee was injured in a workplace accident when metal sheets fell off of a forklift and struck the employee’s foot, causing several … Continue reading

Mandatory Occupational Health and Safety Training for All Workers and Supervisors in Ontario – In Effect July 1, 2014

Starting July 1, 2014, all employers covered by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) will be required to give Basic Awareness Training to all workers and supervisors. The objective of this training is to enhance workers’ and supervisors’ knowledge of both their rights and responsibilities under the OHSA and highlight the OHSA’s overarching principle that workers, supervisors … Continue reading

Transfert d’imputation des coûts: nouvelles tendance jurisprudentielle!

Contribution de Jean-Sébastien Cloutier – avocat chez Norton Rose Fulbright à Québec Le principe général d’imputation des coûts prévoit que le coût des prestations dues en raison d’un accident du travail est imputé au dossier financier de l’employeur. Toutefois, certaines dispositions permettent aux employeurs de réduire les coûts attribuables à une lésion professionnelle confiant temporairement … Continue reading

Avoiding the pitfalls of hosting a work party in the UK

This post was contributed by Lindsey Hooper, Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (London)  Work parties over the Christmas period have become somewhat of a tradition in the UK but they can be a real headache for employers. Here are some handy tips for avoiding common “work party” pitfalls. Location, location, location The location of a … Continue reading

French Supreme Court rules flexible working time for companies subject to the “SYNTEC” CBA invalid

Over the past few years, French case law has subjected to increasingly strict scrutiny employers using “forfait jours”, which is a specific method of working time for autonomous executives (whose working time is calculated as a number of days over the year rather than a number of hours per week). In 2011, the French Supreme … Continue reading

La suspension des travaux, une mesure qui n’est pas si exceptionnelle au Québec…

Merci à Véronique Fournier, stagiaire en droit chez Norton Rose à Québec, pour sa collaboration à la préparation du présent article. Dans une décision récente de la Commission des lésions professionnelles (Garoy Construction inc. et Jean Leclerc Excavation, 2013 QCCLP 1920, (Me René Napert, juge administratif)), la suspension des travaux imposée sur le chantier de … Continue reading