Workers Health & Safety Centre

WHSC revises Level II Law – Provincial

WHSC revises <i>Level II Law – Provincial</i>
Changes to the WHSC 30-hour Level II Law training program reflect recent legislative amendments to Ontario health and safety law and evolving interpretation of the law.

Participant’s Manual

The following notable changes to the Participant’s Manual provide instructors with an overview and point them to areas where they should pay particular attention.

Module 2 – Occupational Health and Safety Legislation in Ontario

While legislative amendments affect all aspects of this WHSC training program, most related changes are found in module 2, which deals with the history of Ontario law. These legislative amendments include those made by, Bill 168 and Bill 160.

Bill 168 amended the Occupational Health and Safety Act to include workplace violence and harassment. Ontario workplaces under provincial jurisdiction should have complied with the new law as of June 15, 2010.
Bill 160 received Royal Assent on June 1, 2011 and took a phased approach to various elements of the Bill.
Provisions that came into force on Royal Assent included:
  • a requirement to appoint Prevention Council and a Chief Prevention Officer
  • the CPO’s powers related to training programs and providers.

Provisions that came into force on proclamation or April 1, 2012, whichever came sooner:
  • amendments related to reprisals
  • repeal of Part II of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA)
  • minister’s powers related to prevention; designation and oversight of Health and Safety Associations (HSAs)
  • unilateral power of joint health and safety committee co-chairs to make recommendations to the employer.

Provisions that come into force on a day yet to be proclaimed include:
  • a requirement for worker health and safety representatives in smaller workplaces to be trained.

Module 4 – Duties of Individuals under the Act and Regulations

Changes to this module include workplace violence as a “reason to believe” in cases where workers may exercise their right to refuse unsafe work.
A discussion on “reasonableness” as it relates to the right to refuse provides an example of an Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) decision concerning the issue.
This module also deletes the discussion on “average worker” relating to grounds to refuse unsafe work. Instead, it talks about a “reasonable worker”. This reflects the fact that emphasis in case law has shifted to a reasonable worker test.
Resource Sheet 8 entitled, “Work Refusal Case Studies,” now included three new cases. As well, Resource Sheet 9 entitled, “Rules for Unlawful Applications under Section 50 of the Act,” is new. It discusses the OLRB application process regarding reprisals.

Module 5 – Joint Health and Safety Committees

New to this module is a discussion about a ground-breaking Ontario Court of Appeal decision on whether or not “regularly employed” independent contractors should be counted for the purposes of determining whether to establish a joint health and safety committee (JHSC) or select a worker health and safety representative. The court ruled they should be counted. This module outlines details about the case, arguments and judgment.
Resource Sheet 6 is new. It provides a list of sample violence hazards, along with sample recommendations that can be made to the employer to address these hazards.

Module 6 – Duties of Inspectors, Orders and Appeals

This module incorporates Bill 160 changes that give MOL inspectors the power to now, refer reprisal matters to the OLRB. It also addresses changes requiring the Office of the Worker Advisor to represent non-union workers.
A new Resource Sheet 5 provides an example of the new MOL form for inspector field visit reports. Resource Sheet 6, also new, outlines the OLRB’s new application process for appeals. Meanwhile, Resource Sheet 7 provides three new cases studies dealing with appeals.

Module 8 – Changes and Interpretation

In this module the example of “Officially Induced Error” corrects a prior mistake. The module discusses a case brought before the Ontario Court Appeal regarding the lack of a machine guard. Previous wording stated, “The Company thought an inspector had agreed that the machine could be operated without a guard.” The replacement statement now reads, “The inspector saw the guard was missing, but did not issue an order.”
Resource sheets for this module provide a historical timetable of significant changes to the Act, information about significant Ontario Courts decisions, and an updated version of the MOL’s policy concerning prosecutions.

Instructor’s Notes

Changes to the Instructor’s Notes reflect changes in the Participant’s Manual. Of mention are changes to Worksheet 1, including new/reformulated answers to questions and case studies.