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Prevention Council Meeting: February 13, 2014

  • Issued: February 2014
  • Content last reviewed: June 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
  • Mike Anderson, Ministry of Labour
  • Brian Lewis, Ministry of Labour
  • Cordelia Clarke Julien, Ministry of Labour
  • Ayumi Bailly, Ministry of Labour
  • Wayne De L'Orme, Ministry of Labour
  • Ana Matos Clark, Ministry of Labour
  • Ameer Subhan, Ministry of LabourMelissa Kittmer, Ministry of Labour
  • Don Embuldeniya, Ministry of Labour
  • Sue Boychuk, Ministry of Labour
  • Susan Flanagan, Ministry of Labour

1. Opening remarks

The Chair opened and welcomed Members to the Prevention Council meeting.

2. Meeting notes

The December 11, 2013 meeting notes were approved.

3. Prevention Council chair and alternate chair governance

A Member introduced a motion for the re-appointment of the Chair and Alternate Chair for additional one-year terms. Members expressed unanimous support for the two re-appointments.

4. Data Management Strategy and Review of Recent OHS Data

The Manager of Data and Performance Metrics Unit, MOL, provided an update on the implementation of the Prevention Office Data Management and Performance Measurement (DMPM) Framework. Members took the opportunity to clarify how data is currently collected and measured, and suggested expanding variables and data collection among occupational health and safety (OHS) system partners to improve the health and safety system. The Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) offered examples of initiatives where the ministry is looking at all types and forms of data to improve OHS, like the Integrated Action Plan to Prevent Falls from Heights or the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review. The CPO also explained some of the difficulties in data collection and measurement, such as a lack of consistent data among system partners.

Members noted value in collecting and examining wider data by looking at organizations with leading OHS records and to identify opportunities for feasible OHS solutions in other areas. Further, Members discussed the need for collaboration among OHS system partners’ data collection departments. The CPO noted value of Member support and welcomed their participation in strengthening these relationships.

Members were supportive of the ministry’s approaches of collecting necessary data to inform decisions, and offered other suggestions to strengthen and ensure data collection from workplaces.

The Director of the Strategy and Integration Branch, MOL, provided an overview of preliminary Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) injury claim data.

Action Item: The Prevention Office to report back to Council on progress made in integrating OHS data and identification of ways Council Members could support moving forward on information gathering.

5. Integrated Occupational Health and Safety Strategy (IOHSS) Update

The Director of the Strategy and Integration Branch, MOL, outlined a proposed stakeholder network approach for implementing the integrated OHS strategy, including principles and components of an implementation plan, monitoring progress and continuous improvement, as well as next steps. Members highlighted the importance of integrating the prevention of occupational disease in the implementation of the strategy, and emphasized importance of sustained effort and urgency to push the strategy forward.

Action Item: Council Members requested a Social Media Presentation and an outline of the Prevention Office’s social marketing strategy.

Members were also updated on the progress of the Ministry’s work with OHS system partners to plan and deliver an integrated response to prevent falls from heights. The CPO explained that this is an 18 month plan with the expectation that these activities will be sustained over a longer term period. Members highlighted the need for considering additional innovative approaches to prevent falls from heights, outreach to municipalities, insurance companies and contractors, and the need for system partners to engage workers and employers in this process.

In addition, Members discussed the proposed graduated system of enforcement targeted to frequent offenders in the construction sector, the need for consequences of contravening the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), expanded posting of related prosecution, and conviction data on the ministry’s website. Some Members expressed concern about how severity of OHSA contraventions would be addressed in the graduated enforcement initiative. Members also expressed interest in expanding reporting of court bulletins related to OHSA contraventions and corresponding fines as a possible prevention/communication tool.

The Director of the Strategy and Integration Branch, MOL, provided an overview of Deloitte’s 2012 review of Ontario’s OHS system and opportunities to improve integrated service delivery. Deloitte’s recommendations are being brought forward at this point in time for discussion in the context of the integrated OHS strategy priorities as a basis for discussion of the future direction of service delivery.

Members recommended looking to other jurisdictions for best OHS practices, and engaged in a discussion of incentive programs to help meet workplace prevention responsibilities and build safe workplaces. The CPO noted that the ministry is looking at reviewing /improving incentive programs.

Members were provided with an update on the progress of developing the first integrated system annual report, along with an overview of next steps and timelines.

Action Item: Deloitte report to be provided to Prevention Council Members and discussion of the recommendations to be scheduled for future Council meetings.

Action Item: Prevention Office to arrange a teleconference with the Council once the draft Annual Report is ready for Council review and discussion.

6. Update on Research and Prevention Grants Program

The Director of the Strategy and Integration Branch, MOL, updated members on the progress of the 2013-14 OHS Research Opportunities Program, including an overview of the three-step review process, research submission statistics, status of the review and next steps.

Members took the opportunity to discuss how future OHS research discussions would be brought to Council. The CPO clarified that the integrated OHS strategy is the general guide for the Occupational Health and Safety Research Advisory Panel when evaluating proposals, though OHS research will be brought to Council’s attention when advice is needed. Members also discussed future strategies for OHS research, including targeting areas where research is needed. The CPO clarified that a future goal is for data to guide strategies about key areas for OHS research.

Action item:Prevention Office to report back to the Prevention Council on the OHS research being funded by the Ministry.

The Director of the Strategy and Integration Branch, MOL, provided an overview of the current prevention grants program, rationale for exploring program review, and outlined some of the program’s current issues and challenges. A discussion took place regarding principles, process and proposed timelines for reviewing the prevention grants.

Action item:Prevention Office to bring forward a discussion on the future of the prevention grants program at the next PC meeting.

7. Fiscal Environment

The Assistant Deputy Minister/Chief Administrative Officer, MOL, updated Members about the current fiscal environment in Ontario, including need for innovative solutions to move toward long-term sustainability of programs. Members expressed concern about the impact this fiscal message will have on OHS in the workplace and the importance of maintaining sufficient funding in the OHS system, especially in light of the recently-released integrated OHS strategy.

8. Training and safety programs

The Director of the Training and Safety Programs Branch, MOL, updated Members about training and safety initiatives underway, including Mandatory Awareness Training, training standards for Working at Heights, Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) certification, Mandatory Entry Level for Construction training standards, Prevention Program Review, and other key initiatives.

Members took the opportunity to clarify questions regarding the training initiatives, including proposed timelines for the JHSC certification and other standards. Members also noted that they were impressed with the final Awareness Training tools.

Action item: Prevention Office to provide Council Members with JHSC certification implementation timelines.

9. Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review

Members were provided with an overview of the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review (MHSPR). In consultation with stakeholders, the comprehensive review will examine emerging issues affecting mining health and safety and will advise the Minister of Labour. The review began in January 2014 and will conclude within 12 months. Members inquired about the stakeholder consultations and were advised that regional meetings were being arranged as well as a consultation paper that would be posted on the MOL website. The CPO clarified that the Council will be updated and consulted over the course of the Review. In particular, findings of the Review will be considered by the Prevention Council for application and leveraging into other sectors and across the province.

Action item: Prevention Office to notify Prevention Council Members about locations and dates of MHSPR consultations.

10. Young Worker OHS Education

Highlights of a few of the current young worker initiatives were presented to Council, including Awareness Training for co-operative education students, the video contest, Live Safe! Work Smart! teacher newsletter and updated materials for teachers.

Action Item: Members requested a full presentation on youth initiatives at the start of a future meeting.

11. Other Business

The CPO updated Members about the recruitment process underway to fill vacancies of an employer and a labour member on Council. Members agreed with need for health care sector and vulnerable worker representation on Council.