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Health Care Sector Enforcement Statistics

Safe At Work Ontario
  • Issued: August 19, 2016
  • Content last reviewed: August 2016

Disclaimer: This resource has been prepared to help the workplace parties understand some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and regulations. It is not legal advice. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations. For further information please see full disclaimer.

Ministry of Labour inspectors enforce the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations at workplaces across the province. As part of the Safe At Work Ontario strategy, they focus on specific industry sectors where there are:

  • high injury rates
  • history of non-compliance, or
  • certain workplace hazards.

The ministry maintains a database where inspectors record their visits to workplaces in conducting inspections, consultations and investigations, along with orders issued. Events that are reported to the ministry, including fatalities, critical injuries, complaints, work refusals, etc., are also recorded.

The ministry’s Health Care Health and Safety Program analyzes these data when planning for enforcement initiatives and blitzes such as those outlined in this sector plan. A breakdown of the field visit activities conducted by inspectors and key categories of reported events at healthcare sector workplaces for the past five years are presented in the tables below.

Occupational health and safety inspectors:

  • conduct proactive and reactive field visits, in either a lead or a support role.
  • investigate each reported event, in part by conducting reactive field visits and issuing orders. This may include multiple field visits, including workplaces not categorized within their own occupational health and safety program.

A summary of activities of inspectors within this program, including those done as part of the Safe At Work Ontario blitzes and initiatives, is provided in Table 1.

Table 1: Health care sector field visit activities and orders issued
Program inspector activities 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
Proactive − consultations 72 52 29 78 47
Proactive − inspections 2,058 1,700 1,420 1,680 1,837
Total proactive field visit activities 2,130 1,752 1,449 1,758 1,884
Total reactive field visit activities − investigations 1,726 1,796 1,694 2,063 2,066
Total field visit activities 3,856 3,548 3,143 3,821 3,950
Orders issued 4,625 3,710 3,340 4,494 4,834


  • Proactive field visits are either inspections or consultations.
  • Reactive field visits are investigations made in response to events reported to the Ministry of Labour. Events and injuries are listed in Table 2.
  • Orders issued represent all those issued by ministry inspectors.
  • Data are subject to change due to updates in the enforcement database.

Occupational health and safety events and injuries reported to the Ministry of Labour are summarized in Table 2. Only events reported to the ministry are included here. Except for fatalities, event categories in the ministry’s data set are based on what was assigned at the time of the initial report to the ministry. The reported event category may not represent what actually occurred at the workplace.

Table 2: Health care sector events and injuries
OHS events and injuries 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
Complaints 527 468 535 594 634
Work refusals 7 7 4 6 8
Fatalities 0 1 0 0 0
Critical injuries 75 93 98 124 85
Other injuries (i.e., non-critical) 225 231 252 295 315


  • Fatalities: The Ministry of Labour tracks and reports fatalities at workplaces covered by the OHSA. This excludes death from natural causes, death of non-workers at a workplace, suicides, death as a result of a criminal act or traffic accident (unless the OHSA is also implicated) and death from occupational exposures that occurred many years ago.
  • Critical injuries: The critical injury numbers represent critical injuries reported to the ministry and not necessarily critical injuries as defined by Regulation 834 under the OHSA. Non-workers who are critically injured may also be included in the ministry’s data.
  • Data are subject to change due to updates in the enforcement database.

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ISSN 1923-6239 (online)

Disclaimer: This web resource has been prepared to assist the workplace parties in understanding some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the regulations. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations and reference should always be made to the official version of the legislation.

It is the responsibility of the workplace parties to ensure compliance with the legislation. This web resource does not constitute legal advice. If you require assistance with respect to the interpretation of the legislation and its potential application in specific circumstances, please contact your legal counsel.

While this web resource will also be available to Ministry of Labour inspectors, they will apply and enforce the OHSA and its regulations based on the facts as they may find them in the workplace. This web resource does not affect their enforcement discretion in any way.