Ministry of Labour’s ‘What’s New’ | February 2017
View the full online version here.
Ministry launches home renovation and roofing campaigns
This month, the ministry will launch two digital advertising campaigns targeting the underground economy in residential renovations and roofing. The campaign will raise homeowner’s awareness of the risks posed by hiring residential renovation and roofing contractors who operate “under the table,” and who potentially aren’t covered by the WSIB, lack proper certification and don’t follow safe workplace practices.
Ontario is helping to enhance the wellbeing of workers across the province by supporting projects that will help employees stay healthy and safe at work. The Occupational Health, Safety and Prevention Innovation Program provides support to organizations creating innovative solutions to health and safety issues in today’s changing workplace. The deadline for applications is April 25, 2017.
Working at heights training is the law in Ontario. By April 1, 2017, all workers who work at heights in construction have to be trained to do so using an approved training program.
In the last few years, people have increasingly become aware of the issue of mental health at the workplace. A psychologically healthy workplace enjoys better recruitment and retention of talent, enhanced productivity, higher levels of innovation and creativity, and other benefits. The ministry has launched a new webpage with links to useful workplace mental health resources.
Last April, Ontario passed the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act, which created a presumption that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosed in first responders is work-related. Employers of workers covered under the PTSD presumption should provide their workplace PTSD prevention plans to the Minister of Labour by April 23, 2017. For help with developing the plans, go to firstrespondersfirst.ca
If a serious workplace incident does happen, the employer’s response to it, and their treatment of the worker and family, can make an enormous difference in how the family deals with the tragedy. The organization Threads of Life has released a report that provides clear steps an employer can take to connect with and support families after a tragedy.
Ontarians work very hard and deserve time to spend with the people they love. Generally speaking, most employees are entitled to get a day off with pay on Family Day (Feb. 20), enabling them to spend time with their family and loved ones. Please note that some employees may work in jobs that are exempt from public holiday provisions in the Employment Standards Act.
Did you know repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) are among the most common types of worker injuries? These injuries mainly affect muscles, nerves and tendons. Take part in RSI Awareness Day on February 28, and learn more about how you can preventRSIs at your workplace! #workshouldnthurt
Repeat violations of employment laws are one indicator of intentional or wilful non-compliance. Last September and October, the ministry conducted a blitz focusing on repeat violators and took a zero-tolerance approach towards any violation of the Employment Standards Act, 2000.
Workers can be at risk from hazards arising from the handling of chemicals at the workplace. From September 19 to October 31, the ministry conducted an enforcement blitz targeting chemical handling hazards at industrial workplaces in Ontario.
Workers are at risk of serious injury or death if they are exposed to hazards while operating a motor vehicle or are in an area where a vehicle is being operated. Last September and October, the ministry visited underground and surface mines across Ontario as part of an enforcement blitz targeting hazards that may arise when material is moved by rail, load haul dump equipment or haulage trucks.
The Partners in Prevention 2017 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show will take place from May 2 to 3. The conference features speakers from across North America, and provides opportunities for training and networking with health and safety professionals, HR professionals and others. Register now!
The “It’s Your Job” student video contest closes on March 3, 2017. If you are a secondary school student in Ontario, you can submit a video of up to two minutes on any topic related to workplace health and safety. Win up to $2,000 each for you and your school – and possibly more if you advance to the national finals!