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Prevention Council Meeting: April 10, 2014

  • Issued: April 2014
  • Content last reviewed: September 2014

Prevention council members present:

  • Colin Grieve, Ontario Professional Firefighters Association
  • Graeme Norval, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto
  • Linda Vannucci, Health & Safety Legal Clinic
  • Nancy Hutchison, Ontario Federation of Labour
  • Mike Oxley, DuPont Canada Company
  • Patrick Dillon, Provincial Building & Construction Trades Council of Ontario
  • Roy Slack, Cementation Canada
  • Dawn Tattle, Anchor Shoring & Caissons Ltd.

Prevention council regrets:

  • Susanna Zagar, Workplace Safety & Insurance Board


  • George Gritziotis, Ministry of Labour
  • John Vander Doelen, Ministry of Labour
  • Brian Lewis, Ministry of Labour
  • Cordelia Clarke Julien, Ministry of Labour
  • Tom Zach, Ministry of Labour
  • Carol Sackville-Duyvelshoff, Ministry of Labour
  • Ayumi Bailly, Ministry of Labour
  • Ana Matos Clark, Ministry of Labour
  • Ameer Subhan, Ministry of Labour
  • Nick Robins, Ministry of Labour
  • Don Embuldeniya, Ministry of Labour
  • Laura Belfie, Ministry of Labour
  • Kathy Rampersad, Ministry of Labour
  • Sue Boychuk, Ministry of Labour
  • Bruce Skeaff, Ministry of Labour

1. Opening remarks

The Chair welcomed members and opened the Prevention Council (PC) meeting.

2. Meeting notes

The February 13 meeting notes were amended per member feedback to clarify the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review (MHSPR) item. On February 13, Members were provided with an overview of the MHSPR, including stakeholder consultations and the role of Prevention Council.

Action Item:Prevention Office to bring forward as an agenda item a discussion on the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review at the next meeting.

3. Young Worker Health and Safety

The Young Worker Lead, Ministry of Labour (MOL), presented an overview of prevention young worker health and safety initiatives. This included the history, current activities and partnerships with the Ministry of Education and others, injury trends and a sample of current resources and promotional materials. Members expressed interest in more discussions on young worker activities at a future meeting, including investments. The CPO stressed that young workers is a priority and suggested that Council Members consider inviting the MOL’s young worker lead to their outreach events.

Action Item:Prevention Office to bring forward at the next meeting a discussion of young worker health and safety, including an overview of investments in youth OHS initiatives.

4. Ministry of Labour Social Media Presentation

The Communications and Marketing Branch, MOL, outlined the Ministry of Labour’s social media strategy. This included a video presentation and an overview of the ministry’s accomplishments and social media protocols. The Branch spoke about the ways in which the ministry uses social media channels (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube) to engage with the public. Members also emphasized the importance of health and safety messaging through traditional and social media channels.

Action Item: Prevention Office to provide Council with an outreach letter on Ministry of Labour social media to support Member engagement with their networks.

5. Definition of Supervisor

A Manager of the Health and Safety Policy Branch, MOL, updated Council on the status of the draft guideline concerning the definition of a “supervisor” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). This included content of the guideline, key work related to its development and next steps. The Manager explained that the guideline responds to the Expert Advisory Panel report, as well as employers’ requests for clarification of the term “supervisor” in advance of the OHS Awareness and Training Regulation coming into force.

Members suggested including a requirement in the guideline to explicitly advise workers that they are supervisors, emphasizing the importance of knowing who a supervisor is since individuals can now be charged under the Criminal Code. Further, members suggested holding further stakeholder meetings to discuss the definition of supervisor guideline.

6. Training and Safety Programs

The Director of the Training and Safety Programs Branch, MOL, outlined work underway with respect to various training and safety initiatives, including Mandatory Awareness Training, training standards for Working at Heights, Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) certification, Prevention Program Review, and the Mandatory Entry Level for Construction training standards.

Members took the opportunity to ask additional questions regarding the Mandatory Awareness materials and the record keeping tool, including the distribution of supervisor and worker workbooks and record keeping requirements. Members also discussed the Working at Heights standards, with some noting concern that proposed timelines for the standards may be challenging for some workplace parties. Council continued to highlight the importance of a health and safety culture alongside new training requirements.

Further, members raised a discussion on incentive programs, noting the need for a strong evidence base (including jurisdictional knowledge) to evaluate their impact on prevention of OHS injuries, diseases and fatalities. Members emphasized efficient use of resources, noting the need to assess benefits of incentive programs versus education efforts. The CPO clarified that the ministry is currently working on a prevention program review document, and will consult with the Council and the public more broadly in the near future.

Action Item:Prevention Office to provide Members with Service Ontario telephone and website contact information.

Action Item:Prevention Office to provide Members with Working at Heights consultations dates and locations.

Action Item: Prevention Office to bring forward at the next meeting an agenda item to the Prevention Council to discuss the draft Prevention Program Review document.

7. Occupational Health and Safety in Ontario: 2012-13 System-Wide Annual Report

The Director of the Strategy and Integration Branch (SIB), MOL, discussed the draft of the first integrated annual report for the occupational health and safety system previously distributed to the Council. Members were invited to submit feedback to the Prevention Office by April 16.

8. OHS Service Delivery Future State Options (Deloitte Report)

The Director of the SIB, MOL, introduced a discussion on aligning the Integrated Occupational Health and Safety Strategy (IOHSS) with the 2012 Deloitte OHS Service Delivery Future State Options Report. The Director described the Deloitte recommendations, and outlined a proposed approach for assessing the recommendations against IOHSS priorities to determine their feasibility for implementation.

Emphasizing the importance and need for Council discussions about the future of OHS in Ontario, the Chair and the CPO proposed holding a dedicated brainstorming meeting with Council in the near future on the future state of OHS service delivery. Members also agreed to reintroduce the OHS Service Delivery Future State Options item as a starting point for the brainstorming meeting.

Action item: Prevention Office to schedule a full-day facilitated session on the future state of OHS service delivery with the Council.

9. Transformational OHS Initiatives

The Director of the SIB, MOL, apprised Council of the HSAs collaborative opportunities service delivery project underway with the Health and Safety Associations (HSAs). Project background and approach, progress to date, next steps and criteria for success of the project were outlined. Members expressed interest in the issues and challenges faced by OHS system partners, and in how partners perceive themselves in a possible collaborative OHS system. Members also spoke about reviewing HSA data as basis for strategic discussions on collaborative service delivery.

Further, the Director reviewed the work underway on the OHS market share (market metrics) project. Members were updated on the establishment of the Market Metrics and Service Delivery Working Group, which aims to gain a more fulsome understanding of the current market for OHS services in Ontario, including market share and potential metrics to assess effectiveness and efficiency. The CPO noted that market metrics are key to understanding the OHS system and provide a basis for focusing prevention efforts.

10. Prevention Grants Program Update

The Director of SIB, MOL, outlined a proposed plan to transform the current Prevention Grants Program, including an overview of a proposed Occupational Health and Safety Prevention and Innovation Program (OHSPIP). Members inquired about the allocation of current Prevention Grants Program funds, as well as possible future uses of these funds. Members also took the opportunity to discuss the capacity of the system to support new ideas, with some noting value in opening the program to entrepreneurial OHS initiatives while recognizing the need for partnerships to ensure their successful delivery.

Discussion took place on the origin of the current Prevention Grants and the steps being planned to facilitate transition to the proposed OHSPIP, including communication with current funding recipients. It was noted that going forward, a focus of the OHSPIP innovation stream would be on “seed” funding.

11. Review of Recent OHS Data

The Director of the SIB, MOL, presented Council with data on occupational health and safety service delivery, as well as workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities in Ontario. This included updates on the third quarter year-to-date data for MOL enforcement and HSA activities in Ontario.

Action item: Prevention Office to provide Members with an electronic copy of the OHS Data presentation.

12. Other Business

The CPO provided an update regarding the appointment process to fill the employer and labour Member vacancies on Council.

The CPO also outlined the current approach to issuing and posting OHSA court bulletins on the ministry’s website.

In addition, the CPO took the opportunity to speak further on the fiscal environment in Ontario and implications for funding the prevention system, highlighting the need to understand the direction of the government towards a balanced budget and its impact on future risks and investment decisions.

The CPO highlighted the forthcoming Day of Mourning, and invited Council to issue a statement concerning this important day.

Action Item: Prevention Office to coordinate website posting of the Prevention Council’s statement on the Day of Mourning.

Action Item: Prevention Office to provide Members with OHS data for the Day of Mourning.