While the scope of the Occupational Health and Safety Act is broad, it is not limitless. A recent decision from the Ontario Court of Justice held that where the nature of a workplace means that it is not required to implement a protective measure prescribed by the Regulations, the Crown cannot then successfully charge the employer with failing to reasonably protect a worker as a result of non-implementation of that same measure.
As an Ontario employer, it is sometimes hard to shake the impression the standard of OH&S due diligence applied by the courts is so high that defendants are guilty until proven innocent. Our court of appeal has found employers to be “the virtual insurers” of employee health and safety.
Established in 1995, First Reference Inc. (known as La Référence in Quebec) provides Canadian organizations of any size with practical and authoritative resources to help ensure compliance.