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Prevention Council Meeting: September 11, 2014

  • Issued: September 2014
  • Content last reviewed: December 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
  • Mike Oxley, DuPont Canada Company
  • Patrick Dillon, Provincial Building & Construction Trades Council of Ontario
  • Roy Slack, Cementation Canada
  • Dawn Tattle, Anchor Shoring & Caissons Ltd.
  • Susanna Zagar, Workplace Safety & Insurance Board
  • Derek Johnstone, United Food and Commercial Workers Canada
  • David Musyj, Windsor Regional Hospital


  • Sophie Dennis, Ministry of Labour
  • George Gritziotis, Ministry of Labour
  • Marcelle Crouse, Ministry of Labour
  • John Vander Doelen, 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 Labour
  • Jacques Marcil, Ministry of Labour

Prevention council members regrets:

  • Nancy Hutchison, Ontario Federation of Labour

1. Welcome and Introductions of New Prevention Council Members

The Chair opened the Prevention Council (PC) meeting and welcomed two new members, Derek Johnstone of the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada, and David Musyj of Windsor Regional Hospital.

2. Meeting notes

The April 10, 2014 Prevention Council meeting minutes were approved.

3. OHS Data

The Director of the Strategy and Integration Branch (SIB), Ministry of Labour (MOL), provided members with an overview of workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities in Ontario. This included updates on the year-to-date data on injuries reported to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

Council members inquired about the decline in the number of inspections recently, which the Deputy Minister of Labour attributed to significant number of retiring inspectors, also noting that a hiring campaign is under way.

Action Item:Prevention Office to explore providing members with a breakdown of complaints by sector.

The Director of the SIB, MOL, also described jurisdictional issues associated with fatality reporting between the MOL and the WSIB. The Deputy Minister, MOL, clarified that MOL is not always involved in motor vehicle incident (MVI) fatalities due to Ministry of Transportation having jurisdiction on roadway incidents. Members expressed interest in analysis on seasonal/sector trends to determine which sectors are improving, and for identification of best practices.

Members discussed the possible causes of seasonal fatality trends, e.g., daylight savings time. MOL staff highlighted difficulty when trying to determine how long a company has been operating when an incident occurs given that businesses shut down then re-open, change names, etc.

Causes of fatality trends in the Traumatic Fatalities by Day Week graph were discussed, e.g., long weekends. Members noted that sector specific information could inform where inspections are needed and that this supports full week inspections. Members raised concern regarding limitations of the data due to the small sample size and cautioned about making too many generalizations.

Members expressed interest in seeing data on contact with MOL (health and safety system) by size of employer. Members also asked if there was information on training conducted in unionized versus non-unionized workplaces. The CPO explained that the impacts of unionization on safety are currently being researched.

Action Item: Prevention Office to provide data on seasonal trends by sector.

Action Item: Prevention Office to explore breaking down construction data via location of incident occurrence.

Action Item: Prevention Office to share preliminary research done by Ontario Construction Secretariat on union environments.

4. Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review

The Director of the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review (MHSPR) provided an overview on key topics highlighted in the mid-point progress report was presented. The CPO noted that the work of the MHSPR, especially on the Internal Responsibility System, can be applied to other sectors.

Members noted that it would be valuable for the report to be a consensus document, and include other areas under discussion, but on which agreement was not reached. Members also discussed that best practices identified in the working groups have valuable information that some employers are already starting to use and apply.

5. Prevention Program Review

The Assistant Deputy Minister of the Policy Division, MOL, provided members with a presentation on Prevention Program Review Group and discussed some of the high-level feedback received to date.

Members asked questions around timeline and scope and clarified the process for Prevention Council review.

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

The Director of the SIB, MOL, presented members with an update on the status of the IOHSS implementation. Members discussed the next sets of hazards that would be addressed, such as MVIs.

Members raised the idea of leveraging existing relationships between construction groups who employ small sub-contractors. They noted that larger companies could influence the smaller organizations to achieve higher safety standards by having requirements such as insurance certificates. This could also be added to procurement policies of government/school boards.

The Director of SIB provided a brief update on the Falls from Heights Prevention Action Plan. The CPO highlighted the necessity for strong leadership on these action plans. There are leads within the ministry, but the plan is to publish the plans and then identify partnerships outside of the MOL.

Members discussed ideas to support the plan, such as bringing this branding to job sites, linking fall safety to discounts at big box home improvement stores and providing information on home improvement store websites. MOL staff clarified that the ministry approaches stores both individually and at the corporate level. The CPO explained that more work needs to be done on listing enforcement activities and stricter penalties in the Action Plan.

Members discussed the “Stop Falls Before they Stop You” common system wide messaging. There was some discussion regarding whether a harder hitting message (e.g., “Falls Kill”) would be a more effective message. SIB MOL Director indicated that this approach was the most widely supported among the system partners and participants at a recent safety conference, and in the future, a harder approach to message could be a consideration.

Members proposed that the Ontario Building Code could be amended to include requirements for workers to have specific safety equipment, for example, tie offs.

Action Item:Prevention Office to investigate linking insurance companies into initiative.

Action Item:Prevention Office to follow up with Policy regarding Building Code changes.

Action Item: CPO to raise Building Code changes with Minister of Labour.

7. Statistical Summary of Coroner's Jury Reports

The Director of the SIB, MOL, presented an overview of the preliminary analysis of Coroner’s Jury Reports. Members took the opportunity to inquire about the reasons for inquests and what an inquest includes. Members discussed the insights regarding the fatalities and potential trends in the data. Members also acknowledged the limitations of a small data set and discussed the need for a central database maintaining this information.

Action Item: Prevention Office to provide customized data on the construction and mining sectors.

8. Collaborative Services Delivery


9. Prevention and Research Programs

The Director of the SIB, MOL, gave brief updates on the OHS Research Program and the Prevention Program Grants and highlighted that applications are now being accepted for the Occupational Health and Safety Prevention and Innovation Program.

MOL clarified that because the program is new it, it is not possible to form clear expectations around the quality of the potential incoming proposals, and therefore whether the allocation of resources to the program is appropriate. Members discussed the idea of matching funding with other types of opportunities/in kind.

10. Other Business

Members were updated on the Mandatory Entry Level Construction (MELC) training standards. Members took the opportunity to clarify that right to refusal is included in one of the modules and that resource information is included in the standard.