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Notices

  • Content last reviewed: February 2014

Amendments to the Diving Operations Regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act

February 26, 2014

Amendments have been made to the Diving Operations Regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which come into force on March 1, 2014.

The amendments:

  • Align the regulation with current industry standards,
  • provide for new work techniques and practices and
  • enhance worker safety through training and equipment requirements.

For more information on the new regulation, please visit e-Laws.

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Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training (O. Reg. 297/13) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)

November 15, 2013

A new regulation entitled Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training (O. Reg.  297/13) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) has been made and will come into force on July 1, 2014. The regulation requires the completion of mandatory basic occupational health and safety awareness training, and specifically:

  • Sets out the minimum content of both the worker and supervisor awareness training programs including instruction on:
    • the rights and/or duties of workers, supervisors and employers under the OHSA,
    • the role of joint health and safety committees and health and safety representatives, and
    • common workplace hazards and occupational illnesses;
  • Requires that employers ensure that workers complete the training program as soon as practicable and supervisors complete the training within one week of performing work as a supervisor; and
  • Requires employers to maintain a record of training, and provide workers and supervisors with proof of completion, on request, for up to six months after the worker or supervisor stops performing work for that employer.

The regulation also contains the following “exemptions”:

  • Workers and supervisors who have previously completed an awareness training program, either with their current employer or a previous employer, do not have to retake the training if they have proof of completion and the current employer can verify the program that was completed covers the same content set out in the regulation; and
  • Current supervisors who have completed a supervisor awareness training program before the regulation comes into force do not also have to complete the worker awareness training program.

The new regulation also includes existing provisions previously found in O. Reg. 780/94 (Training Programs), which has been revoked.

Consequential amendments have also been made to O. Reg. 414/05 (Farming Operations) in order to make the mandatory awareness training requirements in the new regulation also apply to farming operations.

For more information on the new regulation, please visit e-Laws.

To help stakeholders comply with the new requirements, the Ministry of Labour has developed awareness training programs and materials for both workers and supervisors, which are free, publicly available online and in many languages. For more information, please go to ontario.ca/learntoworksafe

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Amendments to MOL Regulations Pertaining to the Ontario College of Trades

March 20, 2013

Ontario has made regulatory amendments under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) that will reflect the coming into force of the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009.

The amendments will also allow the Ministry of Labour to continue its current enforcement of training requirements for certain compulsory trades under OHSA for a one-year period ending April 8, 2014.

Following the expiry of the one–year transition period, the enforcement of trades qualifications generally will be the responsibility of the Ontario College of Trades under the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009.

Learn more about the Ontario College of Trades

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New Regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act – Offices of the Worker and Employer Advisers

April 2, 2012

Effective April 1, 2012, a new regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) will set out the functions of the Office of the Worker Adviser (OWA) and the Office of the Employer Adviser (OEA) in respect of reprisals under section 50 of the OHSA.

Under Ontario Regulation 33/12, Offices of the Worker and Employer Advisers,

  • the functions of the OWA are to educate, advise and represent non-unionized workers in relation to reprisals and reprisal complaints and referrals made to the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB); and,
  • the functions of the OEA are to educate, advise and represent employers with fewer than 50 employees in respect of reprisal complaints and referrals to the OLRB.

The OWA and OEA will provide their services free of charge.

The new regulation is part of a broader MOL initiative to strengthen worker protection from reprisals. As part of this initiative, as of April 1, 2012, MOL inspectors will have the authority to refer a worker’s complaint of reprisal directly to the OLRB, in certain circumstances, and with the worker’s consent. In addition, amendments to the OHSA will permit the Chair of the OLRB to expedite proceedings related to the resolution of reprisal complaints and referrals.

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Amendments to Regulation 854 (Mines and Mining Plants)

June 29, 2011

Amendments to Regulation 854 (Mines and Mining Plants) have been approved and will take effect on January 1, 2012. These changes are primarily based on recommendations from the Mining Legislative Review Committee, the Ministry's advisory committee representing labour and management in the mining sector, and follow an opportunity for public comment in the spring of 2011. The amendments include:

  • Updating training requirements to reflect changes in the training programs and clarifying the time limits for completing training;
  • Introducing occupational noise limits consistent with those found in other regulations under Occupational Health and Safety Act;
  • Updating diesel exhaust exposure limits to position Ontario as a leader in protecting underground miners from exposure to carbon monoxide;
  • Updating air volume requirements to protect underground miners from exposure to diesel particulate matter;
  • Strengthening hoisting requirements;
  • Improving worker safety in shaft sinking work;
  • Strengthening protections related to work on wheel and tire assemblies; and
  • Modernizing provisions to reflect the current administration of the mine rescue program.

The Ministry of Labour continues to be committed to protecting the health and safety of workers in Ontario's mines and mining plants.

Read the regulation that amends Regulation 854 (Mines and Mining Plants).

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Consequential Amendments to O.Reg 67/93 - Health Care and Residential Facilities

May 24, 2011

Amendments have been approved to the Regulation respecting Health Care and Residential Facilities, under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, to reflect changes made to other ministries' statutes referenced in the regulation.

The amendments eliminate the reference to the Community Psychiatric Hospitals Act (repealed in 2009) and replace the reference to the Developmental Services Act, with a reference to the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008.

The types of workplaces covered under the regulation remain the same. The amendments maintain current workers' health and safety protections, and no new obligations, burdens, or costs upon employers are expected.

The amendments come into force on July 1, 2011.

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Confined Spaces Consolidation

April 4, 2011

Amendments have been approved to consolidate all regulatory requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) into one regulation, namely O. Reg. 632/05 (Confined Spaces). As a result of the amendments, O. Reg. 632/05 (Confined Spaces), which already applies to almost all other workplaces covered by the OHSA, will now also apply to industrial establishments, construction projects, health care and residential facilities, and mines and mining plants.

At the same time, the provisions that apply with respect to confined spaces in the following four sector-specific regulations are revoked:

The amendments to O. Reg. 632/05 (Confined Spaces) maintain the important differences between confined spaces provisions that apply on construction projects and those that apply for other workplaces.

The consolidation of the confined spaces requirements under O. Reg. 632/05 is not intended to significantly affect existing worker protections or employer obligations regarding confined spaces.

The amendments come into force on July 1, 2011.

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Updated Fire Service Health and Safety Requirements

January 5, 2011

Ontario is promoting worker protection with changes to fire service health and safety requirements in provincial regulations made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

These changes, which took effect on January 1, 2011, follow consultation with the Ontario Fire Service Section 21 Health and Safety Advisory Committee as well as public consultation in the fall of 2010.

The Ministry of Labour continues to be committed to protecting firefighter health and safety.

Firefighters – Protective Equipment (O. Reg. 714/94)

Employers need to provide firefighters with structural firefighting protective garments (“bunker gear”) that meets or exceeds the National Fire Protection Association 1971 “Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting,” 2007 Edition, if the bunker gear was manufactured on or after March 1, 2007.

If the bunker gear was manufactured before March 1, 2007, that gear must continue to meet or exceed the CAN/CGSB-155.1-M88 “Firefighters' Protective Clothing for Protection Against Heat and Flame” Standard as previously required.

Read the regulation that amends the Firefighters – Protective Equipment regulation (O. Reg. 714/94).

Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations (O. Reg. 278/05)

Firefighters and fire investigators are exempted from O. Reg. 278/05 when they carry out specific work, such as fire suppression, rescue, and emergency work, and fire cause investigation. When engaged in this type of work, firefighters, fire investigators and their employers are subject to Regulation 833 (Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents), which prescribes occupational exposure limits for various substances, including asbestos.

Read the Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations regulation (O. Reg. 278/05).

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Amendment to Training Requirements For Certain Skill Sets and Trades (Schedule 2 in O.Reg. 572/99)

December 15, 2010

Schedule 2 to O. Reg. 572/99, Training Requirements for Certain Skill Sets and Trades, made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act has been amended, effective January 1, 2011. The reference in Item 8 to the ‘sheet metal trade’ has been replaced with a reference to two (newly formed) trade branches of ‘sheet metal worker’ and ‘residential (low-rise) sheet metal installer’. This administrative change was necessary to align with related amendments by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) to the sheet metal regulation (R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 1077) under the Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Act, also to come into effect on January 1, 2011. MTCU amended Reg. 1077 and divided the sheet metal trade into two branches: Branch 1, Sheet Metal Worker; Branch 2, Residential (Low Rise) Sheet Metal Installer. The amendments to O. Reg. 572/99 will ensure MOL’s continued ability to enforce O. Reg. 572/99 as it relates to the sheet metal trade qualifications/certifications required under the Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Act and protect the health and safety of workers performing sheet metal work.

For general information about apprenticeship training or to find the nearest apprenticeship office, call the Employment Ontario Hotline (toll-free: 1-800-387-5656; Toronto: 416-326-5656; TTY: 1-866-533-6339 or 416-325-4084) or go to www.edu.gov.on.ca.

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Safety-engineered needles are now mandatory in more workplaces

July 1, 2010

Ontario has increased protection for health care workers. As of July 1, 2010, the mandatory use of safety-engineered needles is extended to additional workplaces including doctors' and dentists' offices, community health centres, family health teams and independent health facilities. Workers who provide health care services such as home care services, ambulance services, public health programs, health support services to students in schools, and healthcare/first aid services to workers or individuals in industrial and other workplaces will also now be covered by the regulation.

The use of safety-engineered needles has already been mandatory in other workplaces where health-related services are provided, including all hospitals, long-term care homes, laboratories, specimen collection centres and psychiatric facilities.

Needlestick injuries are a significant concern of nurses and other health care workers. Safety-engineered needles have been designed to eliminate or minimize the risk of needle punctures to the user.

For more information about safety-engineered needles, including educational and guidance materials, visit the Public Services Health and Safety Association website: www.osach.ca

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New Regulation Provides Inflation Protection For Injured Workers On Partial Disability Benefits in 2010

January 4, 2010

On January 1, 2010 a new regulation approved by the McGuinty government provided injured workers on Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) partial disability benefits with a 0.5 per cent increase in 2010. This increase applies to those who are permanently, partially disabled.

“This increase reflects the government’s commitment to protect the most vulnerable Ontarians,” said Labour Minister Peter Fonseca explaining that “the goal is to protect the purchasing power of injured workers’ benefits.”

Regulation 454/09 provides assistance to approximately 150,000 injured workers on WSIB partial disability benefits. A section of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA) added through the 2007 Budget Bill authorizes Ontario's Lieutenant Governor in Council to make regulations providing a temporary cost of living adjustment to workers' compensation benefits in any calendar year. This regulation has been made under that power.

Learn more about the regulation.

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Occupational Exposure Limits Updated

December 22, 2009

Ontario is strengthening worker protection by updating occupational exposure limits (OELs) for 36 hazardous chemical substances in Regulation 833, Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents, made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Only two substances in the ministry’s 2008 and 2009 Notices of Proposal — beryllium and sulphur dioxide — remain unchanged pending further consultation and review.

The changes come into force on July 1, 2010.

See also:

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Regulation For Construction Projects

December 2, 2009

The Regulation for Construction Projects (O. Reg. 213/91) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act has been amended with changes coming into effect on January 1, 2010. Changes have been made to requirements regarding:

  • stilts
  • wooden guardrails
  • CSA standards for fall protection equipment
  • electrical utility safety rules
  • marine safety equipment and lifejackets
  • “locates” of underground services
  • engineering drawings for certain structures.

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Needle Safety Regulation

November 26, 2009

The Needle Safety Regulation (O. Reg. 474/07) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act has been extended to other workplaces. Effective July 1, 2010, the regulation will also apply to:

  • doctors’ and dentists’ offices, community health centres, family health teams and independent health facilities; and,
  • other workplaces where health related services are provided such as home care services, ambulance services, public health programs, health support services to students in schools, and health care/first aid services to workers or individuals in industrial and other workplaces.

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