April 30, 2018
The Ontario Ministry of Labour (the “MOL”) has announced that it will be conducting more than two dozen workplace inspection blitzes in 2018 and 2019 across Ontario to ensure employers are complying with Occupational Health and Safety Act (the “OHSA) and the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”).
Enforcement regulators will visit workplaces such as warehouses, retail/grocery stores, manufacturing plants, paper mills, hotels, health care organizations, mines and construction projects in order to conduct proactive inspections. In 2018 and 2019, particular emphasis will be placed on sectors with vulnerable workers, including new and young workers, and temporary help, as well as sectors with a history of low compliance.
According to this year’s enforcement plans, MOL inspectors will look for occupational health and safety violations involving issues such as working at heights, hazardous materials, machine guarding, conveyors, mobile equipment, violence, ergonomics and falls. Employment standards officers will also be checking for employment standards violations, which is significant given the recent overhaul to the ESA rolled out earlier this year under Bill 148. The MOL has indicated that one area of focus will be employment standards violations in the construction sector.
A detailed summary of the MOL’s enforcement plans can be accessed here. As enforcement staff will typically visit workplaces unannounced during the blitzes, it is important that employers ensure compliance with the requirements of the OHSA and ESA at all times.
If you have any questions about this topic or any other questions relating to workplace law, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.