The OHS laws give health and safety inspectors exceptionally broad powers to inspect workplaces and enforce health and safety standards.
For example, inspectors may attend a workplace as part of a routine visit or a targeted “blitz,” checking for specific matters such as protection from falls, trenching, electrical hazards, machine guarding, materials handling, young workers and other identified high risk issues.
They can write demanding orders that may have rigid deadlines for compliance, require employers to engage professional services or stop work in part or all of the workplace. OHS inspectors also have the power to commence prosecution or impose heavy penalties—and they don’t need an incident or injury to do so.
In the current climate, any safety-related inspection by OHS regulators may result in astonishingly high penalties, fines and fine surcharges. When faced with an OHS inspection, it’s critical that there’s a managed and measured response in order to best protect the interests of the organization and its staff.
To learn how to respond with such an approach when faced with an OHS inspector, attend this Oct. 9th webinar. OHS lawyer and former health and safety prosecutor Jeremy Warning will discuss:
- The circumstances that bring OHS inspectors to your door;
- Characteristics of OHS inspectors and their powers;
- Managing the heavy-handed inspector and over-zealous worker; and
- Reducing risk through effective management of an inspection.
You’ll also learn some helpful tips that could advance your organization’s response to an OHS inspection.
Jeremy Warning is a partner in Heenan Blaikie’s Labour and Employment Group and a member of its national OHS & Workers’ Compensation Practice Group. He provides the firm’s provincial, national and international clients with proactive and strategic advice following safety incidents and when regulators are at the door. Jeremy is a former Ontario MOL prosecutor and has practiced health and safety law for more than 10 years. He’s also co-author of the Annotated Occupational Health and Safety Act and is listed in The Best Lawyers in Canada directory as a leading OHS lawyer.
In the meantime, for more information on OHS inspectors and inspections, read:
- Charter Rights: Do They Apply to OHS Inspections?
- Chart of the powers of inspectors under the OHS laws in each jurisdiction.