What’s New – October 2015 | Issue #65
Minimum Wage Increase
Ontario raised the general minimum wage from $11 to $11.25 per hour, effective Oct.1, 2015. Minimum wage rates for jobs in special categories (liquor servers, homeworkers, students, etc.) have also increased as well.
Gender Wage Gap Consultations
Ontario’s gender wage gap – the difference between wages earned by men and women – on average ranges from 12 to 31 per cent. The government has launched public consultations on closing the gap. For more information on how to participate, please visit the ministry’s website.
New Changes to JHSC Certification
The Chief Prevention Officer has established new standards that will improve the quality and consistency of training to certify Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) members. The new standards will contain specific criteria that must be met for the approval of JHSC certification training programs and training providers. They will replace older training standards that have been used by training providers since 1996. Implementation of the new JHSC standards go into effect on March 1, 2016.
Autumn Blitz Targets Internships
The Ontario government is focusing on internships during a four-month enforcement blitz across the province, especially in the Greater Toronto Area. Beginning Sept. 1, 2015, ministry employment standards officers are checking to ensure that employers are complying with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). In particular, they are checking to see whether interns are present in the workplace and determine whether they are employees entitled to minimum wage and other employment standards.
Heavy Equipment Operation Blitz
In October and November, the ministry is visiting construction projects across Ontario to check for hazards related to operating or working around heavy equipment or vehicles that could result in injuries or death.
Mine Safety: Modular Training
Workers risk serious injuries or even death if they are not properly trained and unable to recognize workplace hazards. Hazards involving equipment usage and processes can be prevented by employers developing and maintaining required training programs. Employers must also ensure workers take the appropriate training program for the work they perform and that their completed training is properly accredited.
New Mining Guidelines
Ontario’s miners often work in environments that may have many health and safety hazards. The ministry has produced new mining guidelines for the use of wheel chocks for vehicles in mines; for providing underground refuge stations; and to address non-routine, hazardous tasks in mines.
It’s Your Job Student Video Contest Opens For Submissions
Every year, more than 6,200 young workers across Ontario are injured seriously enough to need time off work. Ontario’s secondary school students can submit a video of up to two minutes on any topic related to workplace health and safety. Winners and their respective schools will be awarded cash prizes. The top entry will advance to the national finals for a chance to win more cash and a trip to Ottawa to showcase the video! The deadline for submissions is March 11, 2016.
Golf Ball Retrieval: Driving Regulation Requirements
A growing number of individuals and companies are offering their services to recover golf balls from golf course ponds and other water hazards. The retrieval of golf balls from these areas must be conducted with the same care and attention to safety and detail as any commercial diving operation. Read about how to keep workers safe from hazards that may be present while diving to retrieve golf balls.
Free Webinar : Workers’ Compensation Issues
The Office of the Employer Adviser (OEA), the agency that helps employers with their workers’ compensation problems, has listed its fall schedule for free informative webinars. These webinars are designed to help employers understand and meet their obligations – and in the process, save time and compensation costs.
Learn more about your workplace rights: Ontario.ca/workplacerights