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Occupational Health & Safety

CSA commences consultations on voluntary national standard for Psychological Health and Safety in Workplace

The Canadian Standards Association ("CSA") announced yesterday that it is commencing consultations on the development of a voluntary "National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace".

The CSA's November 2, 2011 news release provides:

As the leading cause of short and long term disability in Canadian workplaces, psychological health and safety impacts in Canada are substantial.

However, in 2012 Canadian employers will have increased support for improving the psychological health and safety of their employees with the development of a National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. All Canadians are welcome to participate in a 60‐day public consultation that began November 1, 2011. The close of the Public Review period has been extended from December 31, 2011 to January 6, 2012. All comments are due by January 6, 2012.  read more »

Ontario arbitrator addresses Bill 168 provisions concerning verbal threats of physical violence

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

In Kingston (City) v. Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 109 (Hudson Grievance), [2011] O.L.A.A. No. 393 (Newman), the arbitrator upheld the dismissal of 28-year employee who uttered death threats at a co-worker.

Tha arbitrator also outlined how, in her view, Bil 168 changed the legal analysis in Ontario in four ways in cases involving verbal threats in the workplace, stating:  read more »

Stevan Horvath appointed President of Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

Federal Labour Minister, Lisa Raitt, announced today that Stevan Horvath has been  appointed full-time President of Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, effective April 11, 2011.

The release says the following about the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety:

  • The Centre, located in Hamilton, Ontario, was created in 1978 to promote the fundamental right of Canadians to a healthy and safe working environment.
  • The Centre is governed by a tripartite council representing the federal, provincial and territorial governments, employers and workers, the Centre provides Canadians with unbiased and relevant information that supports responsible decision making on health and safety issues in the workplace.

The release notes the following about Mr. Horvath:  read more »

"Washington State Legislature Targets Bullying in the Workplace"

Jurisdiction: - United States

Jackson Lewis, a US labour and employment firm with offices across the country, posted an article last month on its website entitled,  "Washington State Legislature Targets Bullying in the Workplace" (February 15, 2011).

The article states that:  read more »

Highest penalty imposed by WorkSafeBC on employer in 2010 was $145,000, according to enforcement report

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

WorkSafeBC released its "enforcement report" for 2010 today. Key stats from the report are:  read more »

Upcoming conferences on labour, employment, human rights, privacy, immigration, pensions & benefits law

The table below contains a comprehensive list of the upcoming workplace law (employment, labour, human rights, pensions, privacy and immigration) conferences in Canada in 2011. The full names of the service providers, and links to their sites, are at the bottom of the page.

 read more »

Independent contractors considered to be employees for health and safety purposes in Ontario

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

In Ontario (Labour) v. United Independent Operators Limited, 2011 ONCA 33, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that independent contractors are considered to be "regularly employed" for the purposes of determining whether a company has an obligation to establish a joint health and safety committee (JHSC).

The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act requires a JHSC to be established at a workplace at which 20 or more workers are regularly employed.  read more »