The Dean Commission & Ontario OHS Reform: What You Need to Know


As you know by now, Ontario appears ready to make some significant changes to its OHS laws. The OHS Insider has created this Special Report to explain what you need to know about Ontario OHS reform if you’re an employer in Ontario or have operations in the province.

How to Use This Special Report

The heart of this OHS Insider Report is the summary of the key recommendations. So if you want to cut right to the chase, you can skip the background stuff in Chapter 1 and go right to the analysis of the recommendations contained in Chapter 2, which provides a summary of all 45 recommendations contained in the Dean Commission Report, including an explanation of:

  • What’s being recommended;
  • How the recommendation is likely to affect your OHS program if it gets adopted; and
  • How likely the recommendation is to be adopted and when; and

Chapter 3 provides a projected timetable of when recommendations are likely to be adopted. Chapter 4 includes an executive summary of the key information.


The government’s proposal of Bill 160 yesterday completely changes the situation. We have now moved from the recommendation to the legislation stage.

However, the Special Report’s substantive analysis of the recommendations and their impact on employers remains valid. Just realize that we are now dealing with a bill rather than a set of recommendations from the Dean Report. The recommendations which Bill 160 incorporates (and which you can refer to in seeking analysis from the Special Report) include Recommendation:

  • 1 (New Chief Prevention Officer)
  • 12 (JHSC recommendations)
  • 13 (Mandatory health/safety representative training)
  • 14 (Mandatory awareness training for new workers)
  • 15 (Mandatory awareness training for supervisors)
  • 16  (Mandatory contruction workers training)
  • 17 (Mandtory fall protection and other high hazard training)
  • 33 (Reprisal complaints)

Note that there are other items in Bill 160 not contained in the Dean Report, e.g., certification of JHSC members and first aid requirements. In addition, some of the recommendations in the Dean Report (and analyzed in the Special Report), will likely be implemented by the MOL via the publication of new regulations rather than thru Bill 168, including Recommendations:

  • 10 (New OHS Poster)
  • 11 (Update JHSC Guide)
  • 21 (MOL target vulnerable workplaces)
  • 26 (MOL review ticketing of offences)
  • 28 (MOL transparency)
  • 29 (MOL appoint advisory committee on vulnerable workers)
  • 30 (MOL weekend late night inspections)
  • 31 (MOL Multiple language awareness materials)
  • 32 (Farm work regulations)
  • 34 (MOL guidance on laying of charges for reprisals)
  • 36 (MOL appoint small business advisory committee)
  • 38 (MOL should provide better compliance assistance and less gotcha)
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