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Ontario Ministry of Labour announces OHS and ESA blitzes for 2016–2017

inspectionimageIn 2016–2017, the Ministry of Labour (“MOL”) of the Province of Ontario will continue to implement its proactive campaign of “blitzes” to ensure that the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) and the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) are followed. The various blitz campaigns are set to start May 2, 2016 and continue to run for more than one year until June 2017 in some cases. A link to the full set of upcoming blitzes can be found here.

For several years now, the MOL has been promoting compliance with both the OHSA and ESA by conducting targeted blitzes on specific industries and geographic regions in Ontario to ensure that the most vulnerable of workers are protected. The MOL will deliberately blitz sectors of the economy and regions of Ontario that have a history of non-compliance with the law.

From a health and safety perspective, the MOL is concerned with sector specific compliance and increasing awareness and compliance.

From an employment standards perspective, the MOL wants to ensure that the ESA is complied with including the obligations to post Employment Standards Posters, wage statements, unauthorized deductions, record keeping, hours of work, eating periods, overtime pay, minimum wage, public holidays and vacations with pay.

The OHSA blitzes will target Falls, New and Young Workers, Mobile Cranes and material Hoisting, Repeat Violators, Safe Material Tramming Underground and Surface, Electrical Hazards in specific industries and geographic areas of the Province.

The ESA blitzes will target the use of Temporary Foreign Workers, Young Workers and Repeat Violators in specific industries and across the province.

All employers should ensure compliance with the statutory requirements of both the OHSA and ESA. Review the link to identify if your business is going to be proactively targeted by an MOL Inspector in the upcoming months.

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Simon Heath

Employment Lawyer and principal at Heath Law, Employment Lawyers
Simon Heath, BA, MIR, LLB, is the Principal of Heath Law, Employment Lawyers in Mississauga, Ontario. Simon represents both public and private-sector employers and employees (unionized and non-unionized) at all stages of the employment relationship with a focus in the areas of employment law, labour law and human rights law; these representations are made at all levels of courts and all administrative tribunals. Read more
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