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
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August 17, 2017
NDP Government in Alberta Announces OHS Legislation Review
August 17, 2017 NDP Government in Alberta Announces OHS Legislation Review On August 16, 2017, the NDP Government in Alberta announced that it is reviewing Alberta’s OHS legislation (Review). This comes on the heels of similar reviews having been done …
April 12, 2017
REMINDER: PTSD Prevention Plan Information Deadline is April 23, 2017
April 12, 2017 REMINDER: PTSD Prevention Plan Information Deadline is April 23, 2017 Employers of first responders and other workers covered by the new PTSD presumption under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 must submit information about their plans …
February 14, 2017
$70,000 Fine Demonstrates Importance of OHSA Orders and Workplace Violence and Harassment Requirements
February 14, 2017 $70,000 Fine Demonstrates Importance of OHSA Orders and Workplace Violence and Harassment Requirements An Ontario employer has been fined $70,000 ($87,500 with the surcharge applied) after being convicted of failing to comply with seven Occupational Health and …
March 22, 2016
Ontario Government Raises Minimum Wage to $11.40
March 22, 2016 Ontario Government Raises Minimum Wage to $11.40 The government of Ontario has announced that it is raising the minimum wage from $11.25 to $11.40 per hour effective October 1, 2016. This is Ontario’s tenth minimum wage increase …
March 11, 2016
Ontario Legislature Passes Significant Changes to OHS Workplace Harassment Laws
March 11, 2016 Ontario Legislature Passes Significant Changes to OHS Workplace Harassment Laws The Ontario government has now passed Bill 132, the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2015. As outlined …
March 12, 2015
“It’s Never Okay” Action Plan Proposes Significant New Amendments to the OHSA
March 12, 2015 “It’s Never Okay” Action Plan Proposes Significant New Amendments to the OHSA On March 6, 2015, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the provincial government’s “It’s Never Okay”, action plan to address sexual harassment and violence in Ontario. …
December 12, 2014
Ontario MOL Moves Forward With Mandatory Fall Protection Training Standard in Construction
December 12, 2014 Ontario MOL Moves Forward With Mandatory Fall Protection Training Standard in Construction On December, 9, 2014, The Ministry of Labour in Ontario introduced a new mandatory training regime for all construction workers who work at heights. The …
December 4, 2014
Mathews Dinsdale & Clark Launches New OHS Emergency Hotline
December 4, 2014 Mathews Dinsdale & Clark Launches New OHS Emergency Hotline Our national OHS and Workers’ Compensation Practice Group can now be reached 24/7 through our toll-free OHS Emergency hotline: 1.855.MDC.4.OHS (1.855.632.4647). Calling the hotline will promptly connect you …
November 13, 2014
Reminder to Ensure Compliance and Reporting Obligations with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
November 13, 2014 Reminder to Ensure Compliance and Reporting Obligations with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 For affected organizations with 20 or more employees, December 31, 2014 is the deadline to report that the organization is in …
October 21, 2014
Ontario MOL Roundtable Report Focuses on Prevention and Support for Workers Experiencing Traumatic Mental Stress
October 21, 2014 Ontario MOL Roundtable Report Focuses on Prevention and Support for Workers Experiencing Traumatic Mental Stress On October 7, 2014, the Ministry of Labour announced the release of its report entitled “Roundtable on Traumatic Mental Stress: Ideas Generated”. …