What’s New (December 2014 | Issue #55)
What’s New is published by the Ministry of Labour
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The Ontario Legislature has passed the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014, which extends the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to unpaid co-op students and other unpaid learners. It received Royal Assent on November 20, 2014. Unpaid students, learners and trainees are now defined as “workers” under the OHSA, and have the same rights and duties as the paid workers they work alongside.
Ontario is improving safety for construction workers by making new training for those who work at heights mandatory as of April 1, 2015. The new Working at Heights Training Program Standard will ensure everyone using fall protection systems is consistently trained and better protected on the job. This standard applies to all construction projects in Ontario regulated by the Regulations for Construction Projects. A Working at Heights Training Provider Standard has also been developed to set out requirements for prospective training providers.
The ministry has updated the webpages that provide an overview of the subsectors that fall under the Construction, Industrial, Mining and Health Care sectors. The pages include statistical data about injuries, fatalities and ministry enforcement activities, and list the most common orders issued by ministry inspectors.
Ontario is helping to protect vulnerable workers by proactively inspecting temporary help agencies in a two-month employment standards blitz. Beginning in January 2015, the Ministry of Labour will focus on contraventions of the Employment Standards Act, with a particular focus on public holiday pay, at temporary help agencies across Ontario.
Working, travelling and parking on the frozen surfaces of ponds, lakes and rivers can be hazardous if the ice cover cannot safely support the load. Read a new guideline from the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association that provides a summary of current best practices for the construction and operation of transportation roadways and working platforms that rely on floating ice.