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Conclusion and Next Steps

  • Issued: December 16, 2010
  • Content last reviewed: December 2010

This review has involved extensive consultation with stakeholders on a wide range of issues impacting health and safety outcomes in Ontario workplaces. In addition, extensive research of prevention and enforcement activity in other provincial and international jurisdictions as well as specific topics by policy working groups has supported the Panel in its deliberations. The Panel believes that the implementation of these recommendations would usher in a new era of collaboration in reducing the number of workers who become injured, ill or are killed because of their work. Many of these recommendations would increase the integration of occupational health and safety into business decision making processes which is seen as contributing to a culture that constantly reinforces health and safety in the workplace.

Priorities for Implementation

Recommendation 46

The Panel recommends that an implementation team and an interim Prevention Council be established as soon as possible to work closely with labour and employer stakeholders to implement these as priorities over the next twelve months:

  1. A new prevention organization should be created within the Ministry of Labour.

    The new organization would be headed by a Chief Prevention Executive, and would feature a multi stakeholder Prevention Council; each would have specific powers explicitly defined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act. (Recommendation 1)

  2. The Ministry of Labour should work with the new prevention organization to create a health and safety poster that explains the key rights and responsibilities of the workplace parties, including how to obtain additional health and safety information and how to contact a Ministry of Labour inspector. It should be mandatory to post this in the workplace. (Recommendation 10)
  3. The Ministry of Labour should create a mandatory requirement for training of Health and Safety Representatives. (Recommendation 13)
  4. The Ministry of Labour should require mandatory health and safety awareness training for all workers. (Recommendation 14)
  5. The Ministry of Labour should require mandatory health and safety awareness training for all supervisors who are responsible for frontline workers. (Recommendation 15)
  6. The Ministry of Labour and new prevention organization should develop mandatory entry-level training for construction workers as a priority and consult with stakeholders to determine other sectors that should be subject to mandatory training for workers. (Recommendation 16)
  7. The Ministry of Labour and new prevention organization should develop mandatory fall protection training for workers working at heights as a priority and consult with stakeholders to determine additional high-hazard activities that should be subject to mandatory training for workers. (Recommendation 17)
  8. The Minister of Labour should appoint a committee under Section 21 of the Occupational Health and Safety Actto provide advice on matters related to the occupational health and safety of vulnerable workers. (Recommendation 29)
  9. The Ministry of Labour and the Ontario Labour Relations Board should work together to develop a process to expedite the resolution of reprisal complaints under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. (Recommendation 33)
  10. A worker or employer involved in a reprisal complaint should have access to information and support from an independent, third-party organization, such as the Office of the Worker Adviser or Office of the Employer Adviser. (Recommendation 35)
  11. The Minister of Labour should create a small business Section 21 committee and appoint members that can represent the needs and interests of employers and workers in small businesses. (Recommendation 36)

The successful implementation of these recommendations will be dependent on the continued participation of labour and employer stakeholders, which was a key to the Panel’s success in achieving consensus on these recommendations. Implementation should also be guided by the Panel’s reflections and the research conducted by the working groups.

This should assist in ensuring that implementation is aligned with the spirit and intent of the Panel’s work and the recommendations flowing from it.

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