The Ontario Labour Relations Board has held that where an
employer had complied with a Ministry of Labour inspector's
compliance orders under the Occupational Health and Safety
Act, to the satisfaction of the MOL, the operation of the
orders should not be suspended while the employer appeals the
Employers sometimes appeal MOL inspectors' orders after an
accident, in the hopes of obtaining a decision from the OLRB that
the employer did not commit any violation of the OHSA that would
justify the orders. Such a decision can be useful in avoiding
charges under the OHSA.
In those cases, employers will often seek a suspension of the
inspector's orders until the appeal is decided.
The OLRB decided, however, that where the employer has already
complied with an order, the suspension request is moot and should
not be granted. In particular, there was no prejudice to the
employer if the operation of the order was not suspended.
This decision shows that an employer wishing to obtain such a
suspension cannot voluntarily comply with the orders. Instead, the
employer must quickly appeal the order and apply for a suspension,
before the deadline set by the MOL inspector for compliance with
the order. The employer may, however, proceed with the appeal
of the (unsuspended) order.
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