OHS Year In Review: THE OHSI Compliance Awards for 2018
Goes to the Alberta Court of Appeal for rejecting the OHS prosecutor’s argument that the mere fact that an incident occurred was proof that the employer didn’t take all the “reasonably practicable” measures required to prevent it. Imagine the power prosecutors would wield over employers if incidents were enough to prove an OHS violation.
Goes to federal Bill C-65, the new standard in workplace violence and harassment whose cutting edge provisions include the worker’s rights to have violence and harassment complaints investigated and, if necessary, resolved by a neutral third party turning what’s universally recognized as a best practice into a legal obligation.
Goes to the Ontario judge for holding that forklift operators who used a cell phone while sitting in the driver’s seat improperly “operated” the equipment even though the forklift was stopped and not actually moving. Simply having the cell phone on them while operating a forklift was a violation, the judge reasoned.
Is awarded to the Ontario arbitrator who reinstated a catering attendant with a long service record after she was fired for bullying and harassing co-workers and not showing up for her disciplinary hearing. Apparent message: The attendant’s 21+ years of service trumped her deplorable behaviour.
The Québec ruling convicting an excavation contractor of a worker’s death in a trench collapse of not just criminal negligence (under what was once known as Bill C-45) but also manslaughter, a form of homicide.
Hats off to the Northwest Territories/Nunavut WSCC which has been in front of the issue from the start and which recently adopted Canada’s most complete and intelligent workplace impairment regulations requiring, among other things, that employers perform a hazard assessment and implement a written workplace impairment policy setting out measures taken to deal with identified hazards.
Cyber bullying laws allowing victims to sue those who publish or post intimate images of them online without consent, which have been adopted by a number of jurisdictions in the past year—and rightly so!
Is a tie between the Ontario paramedic who, after years of litigation, won his workers’ comp case for the arm injuries he sustained while delivering life-saving emergency while off duty and the PEI government worker who won his 5-year quest to get back the 3.5 hours of pay he was docked because he wouldn’t drive to the office through a life-threatening snow storm.