Mathews Dinsdale & Clark has one of the leading occupational health and safety practices in Canada. We specialize in representing, advising and supporting organizations and management in provincial and federal OHS matters. Our team combines the strength of skilled and successful OHS litigators (including three former OHS prosecutors), peer-recognized advisors, acknowledged authors and editors of OHS publications, and experienced consultants.
With offices across Canada, and decades of legal and consulting experience, we deliver persuasive advocacy, strategic advice, practical solutions, and immediate crisis management to address all types of OHS issues including:
The Mathews Dinsdale team has decades of experience in advising and guiding organizations responding to the most serious, high profile and complex workplace accidents. We provide immediate strategic, knowledgeable and practical advice that can dramatically reduce the risk of OHS charges or administrative monetary penalties for the organization and management. In fact, our lawyers have a strong record of preventing OHS prosecutions and liability – the best possible outcome for our clients.
In addition, CompClaim, our consulting practice, is able to offer immediate on-site support to address immediate health and safety risks and to guide the collection and retention of the information necessary to advance the interests of the organization and its officers, directors, management and supervisors.
Prosecutions, Appeals, and Inquests
When litigation arises or becomes necessary, we provide experienced and successful advocates able to skilfully litigate the case in a manner that keeps your best interests in mind. Our team has the depth of litigation experience that is gained from representing clients in numerous trials and appeals of OHS charges, Charter motions, Coroner’s inquests, and other OHS-related litigation. Our lawyers have also repeatedly appeared as counsel in appeals following prosecutions and we are frequently retained by organizations and other firms to provide second opinions for appeals.
While the strategy employed will depend on the circumstances of each particular case, Mathews Dinsdale tries to find the most expeditious and cost-effective solutions for its clients. As such and where appropriate, we have assisted clients in successfully presenting evidence or information to the regulator resulting in the withdrawal of charges without a trial.
Challenging OHS Orders, Directions, and Administrative Monetary Penalties
Orders or directions issued by government officials that are made without an appropriate factual or legal foundation can result in tremendously detrimental business and safety-related consequences. Such orders and directions can be appealed and our team has a significant track record of success in appeals of provincial and federal orders and directions. Further, in some cases, a hearing may not be the best means of remedying a troubling order or direction. Our team maintains good relationships with OHS regulators and we have been very successful in having orders and directions rescinded, without a hearing, by engaging in a forceful but professional discussion with the regulator.
Where this is possible, this approach provides a quick and very cost-effective result for our clients. In jurisdictions where administrative penalties are imposed, our lawyers provide skilled advocacy for clients challenging such penalties through an appeal.
Urgent or Sensitive OHS Matters
Mathews Dinsdale provides strategic and practical advice to clients on matters requiring immediate support and guidance, complex, and/or involve sensitive issues. This can include work refusals, complaints of workplace violence or harassment, issues relating to designated substances such as asbestos, contracting for work or services, and managing the OHS aspects of construction projects. We know the applicable legal requirements, obligations, leading case law, and the approach of the OHS regulator.
This allows us to provide strategic advice to creatively protect organizational interests while complying with applicable regulatory obligations. Our maintenance of positive and professional relations with government authorities means we can work effectively with regulators to address complex workplace health and safety issues to achieve meaningful, cost-effective results.
Contracting for Work
The OHS implications of contracting with another party to perform work vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, may have legal principles that are not widely known and are not intuitive, and can attract significant OHS liability. We are able to provide thorough, tactical and pragmatic advice in creating or reviewing contracts and contractor management programs and in guiding the organization through the complex web of provincial and federal contracting requirements.
OHS Program Review or Training Seminar
We are experienced advisors on OHS policies and programs. Our team can advise on compliance with legal obligations, due diligence expectations and on enhancements to existing programs. We conduct solicitor-client privileged legal audits that remain confidential for the organization and management using our legal and consulting team. We also advise and train on a broad and diverse range of OHS topics that includes workplace violence and harassment, contractor management, due diligence, director and officer risk management, accident and inspection response, and numerous other OHS-related topics.
EMERGENCY 24-HOUR ASSISTANCE
In the event of an emergency, organizations and management can reach Mathews Dinsdale’s national OHS and Workers’ Compensation Practice Group any day or time through our toll-free OHS Emergency hotline: 1.855.MDC.4.OHS (1.855.632.4647). The hotline will connect you to one of our experienced OHS lawyers or professionals who can provide immediate assistance and support, including strategic and legal advice, in the event of a serious workplace accident, stop work or prejudicial compliance order, and other urgent OHS matters.
Visit the Resource section to discover invaluable OHS resources
OHS & Workers’ Compensation Group Brochure
April 13, 2018
Medical Marijuana Not Required To Be Covered by Health Plan: Nova Scotia Court of Appeal Overturns Human Rights Board of Inquiry Decision Finding that Denial of Coverage for Medical Marijuana was Discriminatory
Employers and Health plan administrators can rest easier in light of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal’s decision of April 12, 2018. In this article we review the decision and the implications for employers.
April 12, 2018
When Volunteers are “Workers” – 5 Key Ways to Effectively Manage OHS Risk
OHS & Workers’ Compensation Advisor – April Edition
March 14, 2018
Volunteers. Volunteerism. They both matter. Without them Canadian society would suffer. But, when are volunteers “workers” for the purpose of OHS legislation?
Breaking Health and Safety Laws Could Be Manslaughter
On March 1, 2018, the Court of Quebec found excavation contractor, Sylvain Fournier, guilty of manslaughter under the Criminal Code. In this article we discuss the new way that health and safety laws were used and applied in a criminal charge and the implications of the decision.
March 7, 2018
Suncor’s Random Drug and Alcohol Testing Program Remains on Hold – Court of Appeal Upholds Injunction Decision
March 7, 2018 Suncor’s Random Drug and Alcohol Testing Program Remains on Hold – Court of Appeal Upholds Injunction Decision In a recent decision, 2018 ABCA 75, the Alberta Court of Appeal has upheld a decision of the Alberta Court …
February 28, 2018
Check Your Pockets: Newfoundland Court of Appeal Upholds Termination for Inadvertent Possession of Marijuana at Work
February 28, 2018 Check Your Pockets: Newfoundland Court of Appeal Upholds Termination for Inadvertent Possession of Marijuana at Work Every day we find tiny treasures in the pockets of our jackets, pants, shirts and dresses. They are reminders of past …
February 23, 2018
Supreme Court of Canada Confirms Workers’ Compensation Schemes Integrate Duty to Accommodate
February 23, 2018 Supreme Court of Canada Confirms Workers’ Compensation Schemes Integrate Duty to Accommodate The Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) has affirmed a recent decision of the Quebec Court of Appeal that employers have a duty to accommodate workers …
February 1, 2018
3.5 Year Jail Sentence for Supervisor Involved in Fatal Christmas Eve Swing Stage Accident Upheld on Appeal
February 1, 2018 3.5 Year Jail Sentence for Supervisor Involved in Fatal Christmas Eve Swing Stage Accident Upheld on Appeal On January 30, 2018, the Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision on the appeal against the convictions and sentence …
December 29, 2017
New Regulations Concerning Bill 148
December 29, 2017 New Regulations Concerning Bill 148 As previously reported in our earlier In A Flash article, Bill 148 received Royal Assent on November 27, 2017. The Bill contains sweeping changes to a number of provisions in the Employment …
December 21, 2017
Key Changes to Alberta’s WCB and OHS Laws to Take Effect in 2018 – Bill 30 Receives Royal Assent
December 21, 2017 Key Changes to Alberta’s WCB and OHS Laws to Take Effect in 2018 – Bill 30 Receives Royal Assent On December 15, 2017 Bill 30: An Act to Protect the Health and Well-being of Working Albertans, received …
December 14, 2017
Historic Changes to Ontario OHSA Effective Today
December 14 2017 Historic Changes to Ontario OHSA Effective Today In the most far-reaching changes made to the Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA) in over 15 years, the government has moved to, amongst other matters, triple corporate OHS …