As tight as summer coveralls might be with winter clothing
underneath, the Occupational Health and Safety Act does not require
employers to provide winter coveralls to crane operators, a
Newfoundland arbitrator has held.
The collective agreement required the employer to provide
"coveralls". The employer provided summer coveralls with
reflective "visibility markings" and which also protected
the employee's clothing. The employer did not provide winter
coveralls, which were lined on the inside and therefore warmer.
The crane operators complained that the summer coveralls were
not warm enough in the winter and fit too tightly to wear enough
clothes to keep warm. They said that although the crane cabs were
heated, they were drafty and the door must be opened and closed
The arbitrator decided that the need to wear warmer clothing
underneath the coveralls in winter "was not established as a
health and safety regulation or a requirement of the Collective
Agreement." The safety issues – visibility and
protection of clothing – was adequately addressed by the
This case appears to be part of a trend of unions attempting to
achieve certain job benefits – such as winter clothing
– for employees on the basis of safety. Here, the union was
unable to establish that the lining in winter coveralls was a
Resource Development Trades Council of Newfoundland and
Labrador v. Long Harbour Employers Association Inc., 2013
CanLII 12447 (NL LA) (January 7, 2013)
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