In the 2012 Metron Construction and Swartz decisions concerning the deaths of four workers and serious injury of a fifth worker, the Ontario Court of Justice imposed substantial fines but no jail time for the company's president under either provincial or federal legislation. More recently, however, in R. v. Roofing Medics Ltd., which involved the fatality of one worker, the court did impose jail time on the owner of the company. Employers should take note. It's not yet clear if the Roofing Medics case will influence future decisions, but the Ontario Court of Justice has at least shown that it is willing to impose jail time on employers that do not comply with health and safety legislation.
Christmas has come early for health and safety professionals in Ontario, with the gift of a new law, Regulation 297/13 added to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and filed on November 14, 2013. The regulation is the first of its kind in Canada and mandates that all workers and supervisors must complete basic health and safety awareness training.