Does your business hire young workers on a regular or seasonal
basis or have you recently had new hires? Ministry of Labour
Inspectors are visiting Ontario workplaces between May 1 and August
31, 2013 focusing on the safety of young and new workers.
Young workers are aged 14 to 24. New workers are those who have
been on the job for less than 6 months or existing workers assigned
to a new job in the same workplace. New workers include both young
workers and those 25 and older.
The Ministry will place special emphasis on employers in service
industries, manufacturing, transportation, farming operations,
logging, hotels, motels, film and television. In the health care
sector, inspectors will focus on community care services and
community care residences.
Each year young workers are injured. Many of those injured are
employed as labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities,
as well as retail salespeople, food counter attendants and kitchen
The blitz is part of Safe at Work Ontario
which is an enforcement initiative with the goal of preventing
injuries and deaths. The Ministry of Labour is looking for
non-compliance involving new and young workers, including failure
of employers to inform, instruct, supervise workers and comply with
minimum age requirements. In addition, inspectors will check the
internal responsibility requirements are in place such as a written
occupational health and safety policy, a workplace Joint Health and
Safety Committee (JHSC) or health and safety representatives are
appointed and JHSC meetings and workplace inspections take
Any member of our Employment and Labour Relations Group would be
pleased to discuss how to prepare for a visit from an Inspector and
what to do if your workplace is visited and orders are issued.
The foregoing provides only an overview. Readers are
cautioned against making any decisions based on this material
alone. Rather, a qualified lawyer should be consulted.
Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
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