Ministry of Labour managers have discretion as to whether to
send out an inspector when an employer calls after-hours about a
workplace accident, a recent decision suggests.
An MOL inspector filed a grievance under his collective
agreement claiming that when a call regarding a workplace injury
came in at 5:15 pm, the call should have been referred to him
and not the on-call MOL manager. The manager had determined that
there was no need to send an inspector to the workplace that
night. The accident involved a broken bone which was a
"critical injury" (a worker lost her footing and jumped
down the last 3 stairs) under the Occupational Health and
The inspector claimed that he would have gone to the workplace,
at least to "secure the site", and would have earned
"premium pay" for his time spent on the visit.
A vice-chair of the Grievance Settlement Board noted that the
"Ministry Operations Division Policy and Procedures Reference
Manual" contemplated that only after-hours calls falling
within certain categories including "critical injuries"
are forwarded to the inspector on-call, and that the hotline
operator could contact an MOL manager if he or she required
clarification or direction on any issue. The manager had the
authority to conduct "triage" and not to send an
inspector to the workplace that evening.
There was no violation of the collective agreement or of the
Reference Manual, so the inspector's grievance was
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Ten days following the election, join us for a discussion with Gary Doer, former Canadian Ambassador to the US, and Gordon Giffin, US Ambassador to Canada under Bill Clinton, to discuss how the new President and Congressional makeup will shape US-Canada relations for years to come.
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