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Ontario Erectors Association

COCA Newsletter – February 2019

Expert to Study Occupational Cancers

On January 25 th the Ministry of Labour announced a review of occupational cancer to help ensure that best practices and the most up-to-date information are considered with respect to compensation. Dr. Paul Demers through Cancer Care Ontario was appointed to lead the review and report back to the Ministry of Labour by the end of the year. The Ministry’s release states the following,

“The review will address and provide recommendations on three basic questions:

  • How can scientific evidence best be used in determining whether a cancer is work related, particularly in cases of multiple exposures?
  • Are there any best practices in other jurisdictions that Ontario should consider adopting?
  • As scientific evidence evolves around occupational cancer, what criteria should the Ministry of Labour consider in developing legislative policy?

The review and recommendations will also help the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) with important advice as it reviews occupational disease claims.”

However, before he has even begun this assignment, in an interview with the Kitchener Waterloo Record, Dr Demers has shown an anti-WSIB bias and a misunderstanding of how the province’s workers compensation system functions.

The WSIB is far from perfect, it has been a work-in-progress from the time it was founded and it will ever be so. That’s just the nature of workers compensation. But there are few organizations in this province that have been more studied and reviewed and more called upon to adapt and change than the WSIB.

On July 1, 2018 the WSIB adopted a new service delivery model. About a year ago it expanded coverage to include chronic mental stress and about three years ago certain presumptive coverages for first responders were added to the benefits program. It continues to adopt new technology to serve stakeholders better and improve administrative efficiencies. And it is about to introduce a new employer classification system, rate setting process and experience rating program on January 1, 2020. The WSIB is not afraid to change and it is not the system it was even five years ago.

The WSIB provides benefits to workers who become ill or are injured as a result of their work. Injuries and illnesses from causes beyond the workplace do not qualify for benefits. For multi-factorial diseases like cancer, it is very challenging to determine work-relatedness. We hope that Dr Demers can put his personal biases aside, can open his mind, learn what the WSIB does well and where it falls short and develops recommendations that will contribute to the improvement of Ontario’s workers compensation system for the benefit of workers and employers.

Joint Health and Safety Certification Training Standard to be Amended

The Ministry of Labour has announced that the Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC) Certification Training Standard is being amended to reduce the burden on business while maintaining standardized high quality training accessible to all workers across Ontario.

The amendments are intended to simplify requirements for certification, improve access to training, and save employers and workers time and money.
The changes include the following:

  • allowing Part One JHSC training to be fully delivered via eLearning, in addition to the options of classroom, distance learning and blended learning
  • adjusting the minimum duration for eLearning to utilize technology and reflect self-paced learning
  • extending the time to complete the second part of training to within a year of completing the first part, providing more time for employers to schedule training
  • simplifying rules to create straightforward timelines for training and eliminate need to submit forms

The Ministry of Labour will provide further information about when these changes will become effective in the near future.

McKenna Consulting on Ministry of Labour Inspections

Jane McKenna, the amiable Progressive Conservative MPP for Burlington and the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, Laurie Scott, has been mandated to conduct a review of ministry of labour inspections. In the process of this assignment, she will be meeting with groups of employers and workers in the GTHA and receiving written submissions to help her learn about and better understand what an MoL inspection is like.

COCA has already arranged one meeting and are teeing up three more to assist Ms McKenna in her work.

Ministry of Labour Analysis of Fatalities

The Data Management Branch at the Ministry of Labour recently conducted an in-depth review of the 92 workplace fatalities resulting from falls from heights that occurred between 2009 and 2016. Here’s some of the results:

  • 60 of the 92 fatalities occurred in construction
  • Of the 60 construction fatalities, 32 of the deceased workers had fall prevention training; among those 32 construction fatalities where training was evident, the most common factors were wearing PPE improperly, lack of worksite instruction and not wearing PPE
  • 35 fatal accidents occurred in the summer months
  • Fatalities by age were distributed in a bell curve with nearly equal occurrences in the 15-24 age cohort as the 65+; there were 9 fatalities in the 65+ cohort
  • 21 fatalities were in roofing
  • 13 were in residential
  • 28 fatalities were from roofs, 21 from ladders
  • The most common contributing factors to falls were lack of worksite instruction, not wearing PPE and lack of falls training
  • 52 fatalities were on worksites with less than 4 workers
  • 3 workers were killed in their first day on the job, 7 in the first week, 14 in the first month, and 29 had less than one year of experience
  • 26 fatalities resulted from falls from 1 to 3 metres, 31 from 4 to 6 metres, 12 from 7 to 9 metres and 9 from 22 to 75 metres

Upcoming Ministry of Labour Health and Safety Blitzes

The Ministry of Labour will be conducting the following health and safety inspection blitzes/initiatives in 2019:

1. High risk traumatic hazards-slips, trips and falls across all sectors

  • Phase 1: March 18 to July 12, 2019 – Compliance assistance through the IHSA and other HSAs
  • Phase 2: April 15 to July 12, 2019 – focused workplace inspections

2. Musculoskeletal disorders and respiratory hazards across all sectors

  • Phase 1: Compliance assistance through the IHSA and other HSAs
  • Phase 2: focused workplace inspections

3. Suspended Access Equipment – CONSTRUCTION

  • Phase 1: July 2 to September 27 – Compliance assistance through the IHSA and other HSAs
  • Phase 2: August 6 to September 27 – focused workplace inspections

4. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – CONSTRUCTION

  • Phase 1: January 6 to March 13, 2020 – Compliance assistance through the IHSA and other HSAs
  • Phase 2: February 3 to March 13, 2020 – focused workplace inspections

Contractors should take advantage of all compliance assistance programs available through the IHSA to prepare for these focused inspections and to improve their health and safety performance.

Privacy and Surveillance:
Understanding an Employer’s Rights and Obligations

As arbitrators and courts continue to struggle to balance an employer’s right to manage its business with employees’ right to privacy, employers are often left wondering what they can and cannot do. Join us at this HReview, as we address employer rights and best practices in the world of privacy, monitoring and surveillance, social media and IT-related misconduct:

1. Is there is a “Right” to Privacy?

  • Privacy legislation and its impact on your workplace
  • Unique considerations for unionized employers

2. Employee Monitoring and Surveillance

  • Can an employer monitor an employee’s email, internet and smartphone use?
  • When can cameras be used in the workplace?
  • Surveillance outside the workplace – is it ever appropriate?

3. Privacy and Social Media

  • What is an employer permitted to learn about a job applicant?
  • Can an employer require access to an applicant’s social media account(s)?
  • Is an employer permitted to act on what it sees on the social media account(s) of an existing employee?

4. Addressing IT-Related Misconduct

  • Recent trends in discipline and discharge for IT-related misconduct.

5. What does the future hold?

Wednesday February 27, 2019, 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.
(Breakfast at 7:30 a.m.; program at 8:00 a.m.)

Hazelton Manor, 99 Peelar Road, Concord, ON L4K 1A3


By Monday February 19th, 2019. (spaces limited)
Details, including how to register, can be found on the back page of our newsletter and on our website.

Pinchin Complimentary Sessions

Pinchin Ltd. offers FREE learning opportunities across the province each month. To see a list click here.

Upcoming Inspection Blitzes

The Ministry of Labour has published a list of blitzes for early 2018. For the full list click here.

Get IHSA training when and where you need it.

To see a list of contacts and the regions they serve click here.

Eye on ICI Economic Update

To view a copy of the newsletter, click here.

COCA is the voice of our membership at Queen’s Park.

We want to hear from you. All questions, ideas and comments are more than welcome.

Council of Ontario Construction Associations
180 Dundas Street West, Suite 2001
Toronto, ON M5G 1Z8

COCA Staff

Ian Cunningham x224

Operations & Communications Manager
Martin Benson x222