The Ontario government has passed amendments under the
Occupational Health and Safety Act which provide new
technical and operational safety measures and procedures for rotary
foundation drill rigs, and require that drill rig operators be
trained and certified.
The amendments containing the new drill rig requirements, which
have been passed in regulation, will come into effect on July 1,
2016 to allow time for the construction industry to comply.
The Ministry of Labour states in its press release that rotary
foundation drill rigs are used for boring holes in soil in order to
install foundations or earth retention structures.
Ontario is the only jurisdiction in Canada to implement explicit
training requirements for drill rig operators in its health and
safety legislation. The Ministry states in its press release that
these changes are intended to build on actions that the province is
already taking to improve safety for construction workers,
including the Working at Heights Training requirements (read
our article about this training
here). The Ministry says that Ontario's construction
industry has traditionally experienced higher rates of workplace
injuries and fatalities than other workplace sectors, and that
there were 200 critical injuries in construction last year and 21
The Ministry of Labour's press release announcing the
changes can be found
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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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