Table of Contents | Print This Page

Recommendations

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

New Prevention Organization

  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.

  2. The new prevention organization should create, implement and audit training standards that would apply to training required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations.
  3. The new prevention organization should work with other ministries and training organizations to develop a graduated occupational health and safety Awareness and Training Strategy to establish Ontario as a jurisdictional leader in OHS continual learning and training.
  4. The new prevention organization should develop a multi-year social awareness strategy that will significantly reduce public tolerance of workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities and shift attitudes, beliefs and behaviours around occupational health and safety.
  5. The responsibility for research funding, and the resources to support it, should be transferred to the Chief Prevention Executive, and the Research Advisory Council mechanism for advising on the funding of research should be retained.
  6. The new prevention organization, in conjunction with the Ministry of Labour and stakeholders, should develop a common database that can be used for planning and evaluation purposes. The system partners, in collaboration with stakeholders, should:
    • develop a common vision of success, and the data needed to determine it;
    • review the occupational health and safety data currently collected, to improve its reliability and validity for the purpose of performance measurement;
    • identify additional information on workers and employers that could be collected and shared, subject to any legislative limitations or restrictions; and
    • review, and where appropriate, consolidate existing leading-indicator initiatives under the new prevention organization.
  7. The new prevention organization should establish a business centre to carry out the following functions:
    • standardize, manage and disseminate OHS data;
    • retain and share information on system partner interactions with employers;
    • provide analytical expertise regarding provincial OHS data; and
    • manage and authorize stakeholder and public access to data.
  8. The new prevention organization should be given responsibility for knowledge management and should create a leadership position to oversee this responsibility.
  9. The new prevention organization should work with the Ministry of Labour, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and Health and Safety Associations to review the current inventory of health and safety information and resource products. This should lead to the development of a strategy to consolidate materials, increase the consistency of content and improve availability.
  10. 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.

Measures to Support the Internal Responsibility System

  1. The Ministry of Labour should update the Guide to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Guide for Joint Health and Safety Committees and Representatives in the Workplace to address changes in the workplace and workplace relationships with particular emphasis on a small business lens, covering the following issues:
    • roles and responsibilities of workplace parties;
    • temporary employment agencies; and
    • functions of JHSC and Health and Safety Representative
  2. The Occupational Health and Safety Act should be amended to allow a co-chair of the Joint Health and Safety Committee to submit a written recommendation to the employer if an issue is unresolved following repeated attempts to reach consensus.
  3. The Ministry of Labour should create a mandatory requirement for training of Health and Safety Representatives.
  4. The Ministry of Labour should require mandatory health and safety awareness training for all workers.
  5. The Ministry of Labour should require mandatory health and safety awareness training for all supervisors who are responsible for frontline workers.
  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.
  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.

Combating the Underground Economy

  1. The government should make a single provincial entity responsible for overseeing and co-ordinating a province-wide strategy to address the underground economy. This strategy could include links to federal and municipal initiatives.
  2. The entity overseeing a province-wide strategy on the underground economy should consult regulators and the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade on expansion of the Designations Regulation under the Regulatory Modernization Act, 2007 in order to enhance the capacity of regulators to detect and combat underground activity.
  3. The Ministry of Labour, in collaboration with other regulators and levels of government, should take steps to acquire information and data that health and safety inspectors would use to identify and reduce underground economic activity.
  4. The Ministry of Labour should target workplaces and sectors operating in the underground economy for proactive inspections after normal working hours.

Incentives

  1. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, in conjunction with the new prevention organization and stakeholders, should review and revise existing financial incentive programs, with a particular focus on reducing their emphasis on claims costs and frequency.
  2. The new prevention organization, in conjunction with stakeholders, should develop an accreditation program that recognizes employers who successfully implement health and safety management systems.
  3. Concurrent with the proposed review of financial incentives, the new prevention organization should work with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board to develop appropriate financial incentives that reward employers who qualify suppliers based on their health and safety performance.

Enforcement and Penalties

  1. The Ministry of Labour should review its current enforcement policy and supports for inspectors with a view to creating a consistent approach of tough enforcement for serious and wilful contraventions, as well as compliance assistance where guidance and support for employers help achieve compliance.
  2. The Ministry of Labour should review the offences for which tickets can be used for enforcement, and request that the Attorney General review and revise the existing set fines for Occupational Health and Safety Act offences.
  3. The Ministry of Labour should enhance the current legislative provisions for penalties by adding administrative monetary penalties as an enforcement tool, and should develop policies and procedures that govern their use.

Regulatory Approach

  1. The Ministry of Labour should institute a regulatory review approach that ensures regulations are current, consistent and provide compliance flexibility and support.

Better Protection for Vulnerable Workers

  1. The Minister of Labour should appoint a committee under Section 21 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act to provide advice on matters related to the occupational health and safety of vulnerable workers.
  2. The Ministry of Labour should carry out more proactive inspections and periodic enforcement campaigns at workplaces and in sectors where vulnerable workers are concentrated.
  3. The occupational health and safety system should develop information products in multiple languages and formats for distribution through various media and organizations to raise awareness of occupational health and safety among vulnerable workers.
  4. The Ministry of Labour should develop regulations in consultation with stakeholders in the farming community to control the key hazards associated with farm work.

Improved Protection from Reprisals

  1. 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.
  2. The Ministry of Labour should review its prosecution policy and develop guidance for inspectors on when to lay charges for a contravention of Section 50 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  3. 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.

Small Business

  1. 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.
  2. The occupational health and safety system should intensify support for small business compliance through the creation of focused and integrated programs with dedicated resources.
  3. Ministry of Labour inspectors should incorporate compliance assistance in their approach to enforcing the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations.

Opportunities for Government Ministries and Agencies

  1. The Ministry of Education should work with school boards, private schools and teacher organizations to expand the health and safety content of primary and secondary school curricula and update teacher resource material to allow them to effectively teach these curricula.
  2. The Ministry of Education should make high school graduation dependent upon demonstration of knowledge of occupational health and safety.
  3. The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities should work with post-secondary institutions and trade schools to incorporate health and safety content into their programs for both future workers and employers/senior executives.
  4. The Ontario Government should develop procurement policies that consider the occupational health and safety performance of suppliers in order to motivate a high level of performance. The initial focus could be on the purchasing of services.
  5. The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and the Ontario Centres for Excellence should work with the Ministry of Labour and the new prevention organization to develop health and safety criteria for inclusion in funding considerations related to innovation.
  6. The Ministry of Government Services/Service Ontario should amend the business registration process to include an active link to health and safety information, and should work with the occupational health and safety system to provide relevant information for new business owners.
  7. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board should amend its registration process to include an active link to health and safety information, and should continue to work with the occupational health and safety system to provide relevant information for new business owners.

Next Steps

  1. 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 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 Act to 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 Section 50 of 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, for example, 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)

Previous | Next