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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

Nothing in life is free: Certain unpaid positions now protected under the OHSA

Until just recently, employers were able to enjoy free student labour without attracting obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). In that regard, if an unpaid co-op student or intern was injured in the workplace, the Ministry of Labour could not charge the employer for failing to protect that student from the injury

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The latest on psychological health and safety in the workplace: Ontario Ministry of Labour releases report from its roundtable on traumatic mental stress

For the past few years, work-related mental stress has been the subject of increasing attention from the media, as well as from government, regulatory bodies and other stakeholders.  For example: In 2010, the Bill 168 amendments to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act formally recognized workplace harassment (together with workplace violence) as occupational health and

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Is health and safety “competence” required for promotion in your organization? If not, it should be!

When evaluating employees for promotion, or when hiring for supervisory positions, employers typically give careful consideration to candidates’ qualifications to perform the substantive elements of the role – i.e. educational background, work experience, personal achievements and the like. That said, one factor that is often overlooked is the candidate’s knowledge of and familiarity with (i)

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Occupational health & safety lessons from the tragedy at Lac-Megantic: Transportation Safety Board releases its report and condemns “weak safety culture”

In the early hours of July 13, 2013, a runaway freight-train operated by Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway (“MM&A”) and carrying more than 70 tanker-cars loaded with crude oil derailed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. The resulting explosion and fire claimed 47 lives, and destroyed a large part of the town’s downtown area. In the aftermath of

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Workplace hazards: A tragic reminder to expect the unexpected

On Wednesday, May 7, 2014, a worker was tragically – and fatally – attacked by large black bear at a Suncor mining facility near Fort McMurray, Alberta. It seems trite to observe that the worker’s encounter with the bear (as opposed to the types of industrial hazards more readily associated with mining operations) would have

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The 10th anniversary of Bill C-45: Reflecting on a decade of OH&S liability under the Criminal Code

March 31, 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the Bill C-45 amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada which had the effect of broadening the scope of criminal liability for organizations, senior officers and management in relation to occupational health and safety matters. Specifically, Bill C-45 redefined the terms “every one”, “person” and “owner” to include

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July 1 deadline for mandatory OH&S awareness training quickly approaching

By July 1, 2014, all employers operating in the Province of Ontario – regardless of their industry sector, and regardless of their size – must have met the requirement to provide their workers and supervisors with occupational health and safety awareness training, pursuant to Ontario Regulation 297/13. That Regulation came into effect in November of

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Occupational health & safety: Why fire drills matter

When I was young, a fire drill usually meant a welcome escape from the classroom.  Marching single-file, my classmates and I would end up in the schoolyard, where we’d enjoy what felt like an extra recess period. Fast-forward to working life, and fire drills have – for many of us – become synonymous with annoyance. 

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