The results of a recent Ontario Ministry of Labour safety blitz
shows many new small businesses violate basic legal requirements
such as posting a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety
Act. And non-compliant employers can expect future
visits from MOL inspectors.
The MOL says that between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014, its
inspectors visited new small businesses in the industrial sector
that had fewer than 20 workers. The MOL says that it focused
on "businesses that had registered with the Workplace Safety
and Insurance Board (WSIB), but had no prior contact with the
Some of the most common compliance orders issued by MOL
inspectors in the blitz were: post a copy of
the Occupational Health and Safety Act; prepare a
health and safety policy and maintain a program; have a worker
health and safety representative; have the health and safety
representative conduct monthly inspections; provide
"information and instruction" on workplace harassment;
and maintain a workplace violence prevention program.
The MOL states that inspectors visited workplaces in the
industrial sector including retail
establishments, restaurants, wood and metal fabrication
services, wholesalers, automotive manufacturers
and vehicle sales and service workplaces.
The MOL's enforcement initiative is being repeated in
the 2014-2015 fiscal year, with each MOL industrial inspector
expected to inspect four to eight small businesses with 50 or fewer
workers, which have not been previously registered or
inspected by the ministry. The MOL says that this initiative will
"increase small business awareness of the workplace
parties' roles and responsibilities under OHSA and
its regulations", "promote awareness and compliance with
new mandatory occupational health and safety training for workers
and supervisors that came into effect on July 1, 2014″, and
"support vulnerable workers by making them aware of their
rights under the OHSA and the resources available to help
As we have previously advised, employers should, in particular,
ensure that they prepare and post all required postings under the
OHSA, since doing so will show the MOL inspector that the employer
is aware of its basic obligations and has a safety program in
here for our article on health and safety posting requirements
Dentons is a global firm driven to provide you with the
competitive edge in an increasingly complex and interconnected
marketplace. We were formed by the March 2013 combination of
international law firm Salans LLP, Canadian law firm Fraser Milner
Casgrain LLP (FMC) and international law firm SNR Denton.
Dentons is built on the solid foundations of three highly
regarded law firms. Each built its outstanding reputation and
valued clientele by responding to the local, regional and national
needs of a broad spectrum of clients of all sizes –
individuals; entrepreneurs; small businesses and start-ups; local,
regional and national governments and government agencies; and
mid-sized and larger private and public corporations, including
international and global entities.
Now clients benefit from more than 2,500 lawyers and
professionals in 79 locations in 52 countries across Africa, Asia
Pacific, Canada, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and
the CIS, the UK and the US who are committed to challenging the
status quo to offer creative, actionable business and legal
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances. Specific Questions relating to
this article should be addressed directly to the author.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
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.
A former teacher at Bodwell High School has learned a valuable lesson from the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal— it is not discriminatory for an employer to offer child-related benefits to only employees with children.
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.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).