Live Safe! Work Smart!

eNewsletter for Ontario Teachers • June 2016

Live Safe! Work Smart! Resources now available on Publications Ontario

The Ministry of Labour has made it easier and faster to access the Live Safe! Work Smart! resources. For your convenience, Live Safe! Work Smart! resources are now available free of charge through Publications Ontario.

Please visit Publications Ontario to create an account and order your resources online. Search “Live Safe! Work Smart!” to select the resources you need. These will be shipped directly to the address you provide.

While you are there, you may wish to explore the many other resources available from Publications Ontario.

Ontario Wins Second Place in National It’s Your Job Video Contest

The It’s Your Job video contest encourages high school students from across the country to create an original video that showcases the importance of working safely on the job.

In April, first place winners from each province and territory were entered to compete in the national It’s Your Job competition. The ten video entries from across Canada were evaluated by a panel of judges: Shirley Hickman, Executive Director of Threads of Life; Jim Hopkins, President of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering; and Gareth Jones, Acting President and CEO of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS).

Canada’s top winners

1st Place ($2,000 for the student and $2,000 for the school):
Safe Work 2016” by Sarah Mohammed and Rain Cahigas
Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute, Winnipeg, Manitoba

2nd Place ($1,500 for the student and $1,500 for the school):
Breakdown” by Raagavi Ramenthiran, Jaclyn Chiu, Jessica Gu and Morgan McKay
Markville Secondary School, Markham, Ontario

3rd Place ($1,000 for each team and $1,000 for their school):
Workplace Safety – It’s Your Job” by Shannen Garibay and Maria Himbeault
Clavet Composite School, Clavet, Saskatchewan

The national competition also gave the public a chance to select their Fan Favourite video by voting online via CCOHS' Young Workers Zone and Facebook page. A total of 69,358 votes were cast between April 23 and April 29, 2016. This year’s favourite video, winning an additional $1,000, is:

“Workplace Safety – It’s Your Job” by Shannen Garibay and Maria Himbeault
Clavet Composite School Clavet, Saskatchewan

Thank you to all students who submitted videos and congratulations to our winners!

Don’t forget to watch, share, and show the videos in your school or workplace. Visit Ontario.ca/VideoContest to see Ontario’s winners!

Preparing Students for Summer Jobs

As we reach the end of the school year, a number of young workers will begin their summer jobs, many for the first time. The best way to help prepare young workers is to educate them on their employment and health and safety rights and responsibilities.

What Young Workers Should Know

The Ministry of Labour offers resources prepared to help employees and employers understand some of the minimum rights and obligations established under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and regulations:

For more information, please visit the Young Workers page on the Ministry of Labour website.

New Video: Know Your Rights

The Ministry of Labour has launched a new educational video entitled Know Your Rights. The video provides viewers with an overview of core employment standards and is designed to help employees and employers understand their rights and obligations under the Employment Standards Act, 2000.

Know Your Rights is available on Youtube and listed among the other useful videos on the Ministry of Labour video gallery.

New Rules Regarding Tips and Gratuities in the Workplace

On June 10, 2016, new rules around the handling of tips and other gratuities in the workplace came into force.

Examples of tips and other gratuities include: money given to an employee by a customer for a service in the form of cash, credit card or other electronic payment, or gratuity charges that customers are required to pay for service.

  • Employers are allowed to withhold their employees’ tips and other gratuities if they are required by law, court order, or if they’re redistributing the tips amongst staff as part of a tip pool.
  • Employers are also allowed a share of the tip pool if they are owners or part-owners of the business and spend most of their time doing the same work as the employees who earn tips, or employees in other businesses that would normally get tips.
  • Deductions from tips for things like spillage, breakage, losses or damage, etc. are not allowed.

To help protect their rights, students should track the tips they receive and how much they pay into tip pools.

For more information or to access the Ministry of Labour’s Tips and Other Gratuities Guideline and FAQ, please visit Ontario.ca/tipsandgratuities.

Keep Young Workers Safe at Work

Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) gives workers rights. It sets out roles and responsibilities for employers, supervisors and workers so they can work together to make workplaces safer.

The Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training regulation requires an employer to conduct health and safety awareness training for every worker and supervisor under the OHSA for provincially regulated workplaces.

An Ontario employer, who is covered by the OHSA, has a range of legal obligations including the obligation to:

  • take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker [section 25(2)(h)];
  • ensure that the equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer are maintained in good condition [section 25(1)(b)];
  • instruct, inform and supervise workers to protect their health and safety [section 25(2)(a)];
  • acquaint a worker, or a person in authority over a worker, with any hazard in the work and in the handling, storage, use, disposal and transport of any article, device, equipment, or biological, chemical or physical agent [section 25(2)(d)];

By law, workers have the right to:

  • Know about hazards in your workplace and how to protect your health and safety.
  • Participate in resolving workplace health and safety concerns.
  • Refuse unsafe work.

Workers must:

  • Work safely. Use the equipment that you are required to use, and use it properly. Keep protection devices in place. Wear your safety gear.
  • Report hazards (and violations of workplace health and safety law) right away to your supervisor or employer.

Visit the Young Workers page on the Ministry of Labour website for additional information and tips for staying safe at work!

Blitz Results

Employment Standards Internships Blitz

Some employees are at greater risk than others of not receiving their employment standards entitlements. They may also lack the ability and/or resources to understand their rights under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA).

From September 1 to December 31, 2015, Ministry of Labour employment standards officers conducted a blitz focusing on interns at workplaces across the province with a focus on the Greater Toronto Area. The goal of the blitz was to educate employers and promote compliance with the ESA in sectors that often employ young workers who have an increased exposure to precarious working conditions that fall outside the traditional employment relationship.

For more information, visit the internships blitz results page.