The Ontario Ministry of Labour will conduct a safety blitz of
industrial workplaces from November 3rd to December 14th, 2014.
Although the MOL's bulletin regarding this blitz does not
say it, employers should ensure that all of their health and safety
postings are up, and that all workers have received the mandatory
health and safety awareness training; inspectors will likely be
checking those items.
The MOL states that its inspectors will "visit wood and
metal fabrication, manufacturing, chemical and plastics and
automotive plants and other industrial sector workplaces."
This description includes a large number of workplaces.
The inspectors will be checking for machines that are not
properly guarded, locked out or blocked. The MOL says that
inspectors will also check that workplaces have a strong internal
responsibility system in place; that employers are "working to
prevent awkward postures and repetitive motions that could lead to
musculoskeletal disorders involving injuries and disorders of the
muscles, tendons, nerves, joints and spinal discs"; and that
workers are protected from exposure to chemicals (such as
metalworking fluids and degreasing solvents) that could cause
The MOL's Bulletin on the blitz may be accessed here.
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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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