Live Safe! Work Smart!

eNewsletter for Ontario Teachers • February 2016

New and Young Workers Blitz Results

From May 1 to August 31, 2015, Ministry of Labour inspectors conducted a health and safety enforcement blitz in the industrial sector focusing on:

  • young workers aged 14 to 24,
  • new workers who were on the job for less than six months or assigned to a new job, and
  • employers’ compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations.

During the blitz, inspectors focused on workplaces where many new and young workers were employed, including:

  • farming operations
  • agricultural services
  • tourism, hospitality and recreation
  • retail
  • vehicle sales and service
  • wholesale
  • automotive
  • food, beverage and tobacco
  • sawmills and logging

Goals:

  • ensure employers advise new and young workers of hazards in the workplace
  • raise awareness of the OHSA rights and responsibilities for new and young workers
  • encourage employers to identify and control hazards
  • address and remedy non-compliance with the OHSA and its regulations
  • deter non-compliant employers
  • enhance health and safety partnerships
  • promote improved health and safety for new and young workers

Results:

Ministry inspectors conducted 3,396 visits to 2,704 workplaces and issued 11,470 orders under the OHSA and its regulations. This included 209 stop work orders. On average, 3.38 orders were issued during each workplace visit. Some of the workplaces were visited several times.

Three frequently issued OHSA orders involved employers’ failure to:

  • post an OHSA copy in the workplace (section 25(2)(i)) – 709 orders or 6.2 per cent
  • maintain equipment in good condition (section 25(1)(b)) – 626 orders or 5.5 per cent
  • take reasonable precautions to protect workers’ health and safety (section 25(2)(h)) – 507 orders or 4.4 per cent

As part of checking for worker training and appropriate supervision in workplaces, orders were issued under the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation for violations involving:

  • basic occupational health and safety awareness training for workers (section 1(1) to 1(3)) – 787 orders or 6.9 per cent
  • basic occupational health and safety awareness training for supervisors (section 2(1) to 2(3)(1)) – 615 orders or 5.4 per cent

The blitz found that retail, restaurant, and wood and metal fabrication workplaces had the most orders of any sectors visited.

The blitz results indicate new and young workers continue to be exposed to many of the same hazards in workplaces across all sectors, regardless of the size of the workplace or nature of business. Continued enforcement is needed to improve the health and safety of all new and young workers in all sectors.

To read more about the New and Young Workers Blitz Results, please visit the Ministry of Labour website.

It’s Your Job Video Contest Closes on March 11, 2016!

The deadline for this year’s It’s Your Job student video contest is fast approaching!

Encourage your students to enter for a chance to win up to $2,000 for them and their school and an opportunity to broadcast their video on the provincial stage. Top three provincial winners will move on the Canadian finals for another chance to win $2,000!

That’s not all – the Canadian first place winner will be invited to attend the national North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week Launch ceremony on May 2, 2016, where their video will be featured. Top videos will also have a chance to win $1,000 for the most Fan Favourite votes!

It’s not too late – enter now before the contest closes on March 11.

Protecting Child Performers Act, 2015

Know any students interested in pursuing an acting career? They should be aware of the Protecting Child Performers Act, 2015 (PCPA), which came into force on February 5, 2016.

The PCPA provides important workplace protections for non-unionized child performers in the live and recorded entertainment industries. The Act sets out minimum requirements for things like tutoring, income protection, hours of work and breaks. It also provides health and safety protections for all child performers.

Please refer your students to the Ministry of Labour’s Performance Industry page for more information about their rights as child performers.

Summer Internships

It’s that time of year when students across Ontario are starting to look for summer internships and there is some important information they should know before starting their search. For example, did you know that simply calling someone an “intern” does not determine whether or not they are entitled to the protections of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), including the minimum wage?

Generally, if you perform work for another person or a company or other organization and are not in business for yourself, you would be considered to be an employee and therefore entitled to ESA rights such as the minimum wage. There are some exceptions, but they are very limited, and the fact that you may be called an “intern” is not relevant.

To learn more about internships in Ontario visit Ontario.ca/youngworkers.