In May 2011, the Ontario Government passed Bill 160, An Act
to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Workplace
Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 with respect to occupational health
and safety and other matters (the "Amendment Act").
Although the Bill received royal assent in June 2011, it was not
fully proclaimed at that time.
On April 1, 2012, several sections of the Amendment Act came
into force, including the following:
Section 13 of the Amendment Act amended section 50 of the
OHSA, which now provides an inspector the power to refer
matters regarding reprisals to the Ontario Labour Relations Board
if certain conditions are met.
Section 14 of the Amendment Act amended Part VI of the
OHSA by adding a section regarding the functions and costs
of the Offices of the Worker and Employer Advisors.
Section 16 of the Amendment Act amended section 63 of the
OHSA regarding the compellability of witnesses and
production of documents.
Section 17(1) of the Amendment Act amended section 65(1) of the
OHSA, which now provides immunity from civil proceedings
to employees of the Offices of the Worker and Employer Advisors, in
addition to employees of the Ministry of Labour acting in good
Section 18(4) of the Amendment Act amended section 70(2) of the
OHSA providing the Lieutenant Governor the power to make
regulations respecting the functions of the Offices of the Worker
and Employer Advisors.
These Amendments were introduced in response to the Tony Dean
Report, which among other things recommended:
Shifting the prevention mandate to the Ministry of Labour from
Mandatory training for workers and health and safety
Expansion of powers for JHSC co-chairs to make direct
recommendations to employer/constructor where committee fails to
reach a consensus;
Establishment of a Prevention Council and Chief Prevention
Development of Codes of Practice for Accident Prevention;
Powers to Inspectors to refer reprisals to the Ontario Labour
Bill 160 also gave the Ministry of Labour power to implement
additional changes recommended by the Tony Dean Panel. For example,
although Bill 160 amendments set out requirements for mandatory
training for new workers and health and safety representatives, the
training standards and approved trainers will be established by the
Prevention Council once it is fully operational. We expect that the
Prevention Counsel will also be responsible for the development of
the Codes of Practice that will assist employers and constructors
with meeting the specific health and safety requirements set out in
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