MRO Magazine

Ontario revamps workplace health, safety system


May 30, 2011
By PEM Magazine

Ontario is transforming the province’s health and safety system and increasing  protection for workers.

In the largest revamp of Ontario’s worker safety system in 30 years, a series of new amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Workplace Safety and Insurance Act have passed. These amendments are in response to the recommendations provided by the Expert Panel on Occupational Health and Safety and will:

  • Establish the Ministry of Labour as the lead for accident prevention, transferring it from the WSIB;
  • Appoint a new Chief Prevention Officer to coordinate and align the prevention system; and
  • Create a new prevention council, with representatives from labour, employers, and safety experts, to advise the Chief Prevention Officer and the Minister.

The changes also give the Minister of Labour oversight of the province’s Health and Safety Associations as well as the education, training and promotion of workplace health and safety.

Headed by Tony Dean, the expert panel received more than 400 responses in over 50 meetings with stakeholders across the province. The panel included representatives from labour, employers, and academia with workplace health and safety expertise.