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2011-2012 Notices

  • Content last reviewed: September 2014

Notices: 2015-16 | 2013-14 | 2011-2012 | 2009-10

New Regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act – Offices of the Worker and Employer Advisers

April 2, 2012

Effective April 1, 2012, a new regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) will set out the functions of the Office of the Worker Adviser (OWA) and the Office of the Employer Adviser (OEA) in respect of reprisals under section 50 of the OHSA.

Under Ontario Regulation 33/12, Offices of the Worker and Employer Advisers,

  • the functions of the OWA are to educate, advise and represent non-unionized workers in relation to reprisals and reprisal complaints and referrals made to the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB); and,
  • the functions of the OEA are to educate, advise and represent employers with fewer than 50 employees in respect of reprisal complaints and referrals to the OLRB.

The OWA and OEA will provide their services free of charge.

The new regulation is part of a broader MOL initiative to strengthen worker protection from reprisals. As part of this initiative, as of April 1, 2012, MOL inspectors will have the authority to refer a worker’s complaint of reprisal directly to the OLRB, in certain circumstances, and with the worker’s consent. In addition, amendments to the OHSA will permit the Chair of the OLRB to expedite proceedings related to the resolution of reprisal complaints and referrals.

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Amendments to Regulation 854 (Mines and Mining Plants)

June 29, 2011

Amendments to Regulation 854 (Mines and Mining Plants) have been approved and will take effect on January 1, 2012. These changes are primarily based on recommendations from the Mining Legislative Review Committee, the Ministry's advisory committee representing labour and management in the mining sector, and follow an opportunity for public comment in the spring of 2011. The amendments include:

  • Updating training requirements to reflect changes in the training programs and clarifying the time limits for completing training;
  • Introducing occupational noise limits consistent with those found in other regulations under Occupational Health and Safety Act;
  • Updating diesel exhaust exposure limits to position Ontario as a leader in protecting underground miners from exposure to carbon monoxide;
  • Updating air volume requirements to protect underground miners from exposure to diesel particulate matter;
  • Strengthening hoisting requirements;
  • Improving worker safety in shaft sinking work;
  • Strengthening protections related to work on wheel and tire assemblies; and
  • Modernizing provisions to reflect the current administration of the mine rescue program.

The Ministry of Labour continues to be committed to protecting the health and safety of workers in Ontario's mines and mining plants.

Read the regulation that amends Regulation 854 (Mines and Mining Plants).

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Consequential Amendments to O.Reg 67/93 - Health Care and Residential Facilities

May 24, 2011

Amendments have been approved to the Regulation respecting Health Care and Residential Facilities, under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, to reflect changes made to other ministries' statutes referenced in the regulation.

The amendments eliminate the reference to the Community Psychiatric Hospitals Act (repealed in 2009) and replace the reference to the Developmental Services Act, with a reference to the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008.

The types of workplaces covered under the regulation remain the same. The amendments maintain current workers' health and safety protections, and no new obligations, burdens, or costs upon employers are expected.

The amendments come into force on July 1, 2011.

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Confined Spaces Consolidation

April 4, 2011

Amendments have been approved to consolidate all regulatory requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) into one regulation, namely O. Reg. 632/05 (Confined Spaces). As a result of the amendments, O. Reg. 632/05 (Confined Spaces), which already applies to almost all other workplaces covered by the OHSA, will now also apply to industrial establishments, construction projects, health care and residential facilities, and mines and mining plants.

At the same time, the provisions that apply with respect to confined spaces in the following four sector-specific regulations are revoked:

The amendments to O. Reg. 632/05 (Confined Spaces) maintain the important differences between confined spaces provisions that apply on construction projects and those that apply for other workplaces.

The consolidation of the confined spaces requirements under O. Reg. 632/05 is not intended to significantly affect existing worker protections or employer obligations regarding confined spaces.

The amendments come into force on July 1, 2011.

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Updated Fire Service Health and Safety Requirements

January 5, 2011

Ontario is promoting worker protection with changes to fire service health and safety requirements in provincial regulations made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

These changes, which took effect on January 1, 2011, follow consultation with the Ontario Fire Service Section 21 Health and Safety Advisory Committee as well as public consultation in the fall of 2010.

The Ministry of Labour continues to be committed to protecting firefighter health and safety.

Firefighters – Protective Equipment (O. Reg. 714/94)

Employers need to provide firefighters with structural firefighting protective garments (“bunker gear”) that meets or exceeds the National Fire Protection Association 1971 “Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting,” 2007 Edition, if the bunker gear was manufactured on or after March 1, 2007.

If the bunker gear was manufactured before March 1, 2007, that gear must continue to meet or exceed the CAN/CGSB-155.1-M88 “Firefighters' Protective Clothing for Protection Against Heat and Flame” Standard as previously required.

Read the regulation that amends the Firefighters – Protective Equipment regulation (O. Reg. 714/94).

Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations (O. Reg. 278/05)

Firefighters and fire investigators are exempted from O. Reg. 278/05 when they carry out specific work, such as fire suppression, rescue, and emergency work, and fire cause investigation. When engaged in this type of work, firefighters, fire investigators and their employers are subject to Regulation 833 (Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents), which prescribes occupational exposure limits for various substances, including asbestos.

Read the Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations regulation (O. Reg. 278/05).

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