In January of 2017 the Ontario Ministry of Labour issued a clarifying statement on the definition of a
Critical Injury under Regulation 834 of the Occupational Health
and Safety Act. This clarification will be of interest
for all employers facing a potentially reportable injury in the
workplace. While not binding, it illustrates what the
Ministry of Labour will consider appropriate practices for Ontario
Employers in reporting of workplace injuries.
Any Critical Injury in the workplace triggers the following
The employer and/or constructor (if any) must
immediately notify a Ministry of Labour inspector,
the joint health and safety committee (or health and safety
representative) and the union
Employer must send a written report of the
circumstances of the occurrence to a Director of the Ministry
within 48 hours
The scene where the injury occurred must not be
altered in any way without the permission of an inspector
which generally results in no further work being done in that area
until the inspector releases the scene
Regulation 834 of the Occupational Health and Safety
Act defines Critical injury as follows:
"critically injured" means an injury of a serious
(a) places life in jeopardy,
(b) produces unconsciousness,
(c) results in substantial loss of blood,
(d) involves the fracture of a leg or arm but not a finger or
(e) involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot but not
a finger or toe,
(f) consists of burns to a major portion of the body, or
(g) causes the loss of sight in an eye.
Under a strict reading of the above definition the fracture or
amputation of a finger or toe is not a critical injury.
The Ministry of Labour's clarifying statement, however,
makes clear that the Ministry will also view the fracture or
amputation of more than one finger or more than one toe to
be a Critical Injury for the purposes of the legislation if it is
an injury of a serious nature as a critical injury.
The clarifying statement is not a legal amendment of the
Occupational Health and Safety Act or its Regulation 834.
Nor is it an interpretation of that legislation by a Court that
would have binding effect. However, it is a guideline that will
inform the judgment of the Ministry of Labour, its Inspectors and
Prosecutors. Employers should expect that inspectors
will treat this broader scope of workplace injuries as critical
injuries. This means that where such injuries occur, the accident
scene should be secured, the injury reported and a written report
should be sent to the Ministry of Labour like a Critical Injury
– to avoid negative scrutiny by the Ministry of Labour. The
Ministry will likely issue orders and failure-to-report charges if
the employer does not follow its clarifying statement and its
expanded view of injuries considered critical.
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The arbitrator's decision covered a number of issues including whether the termination was appropriate and whether the City had breached the grievor's human rights. The following, however, will focus on the privacy issue raised.
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