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Occupational Health & Safety

Amendments to Canada Labour Code narrow employees' right to refuse work on basis it is unsafe

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

Amendments to the Canada Labour Code - Part II that came into effect on October 28, 2014 are intended to narrow an employee's right to refuse work on basis it is not safe ((under sec. 128 of the Code).

For more information on these amendments, see  read more »

WorkSafeBC announces latest administrative penalties imposed on British Columbia employers

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

WorkSafeBC issued a news release today concerning the latest administrative penalties imposed on employers. Of note:  read more »

WorkSafeBC approves 3 new OHS workplace bullying and harassment policies to be effective November 1, 2013

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

WorkSafeBC has recently added the following announcement to its website:

At its March 2013 meeting, WorkSafeBC's Board of  Directors approved three new OHS workplace bullying and harassment policies:

  • Employer Duties - Workplace Bullying and Harassment - D3-115-2
  • Worker Duties - Workplace Bullying and Harassment - D3-116-1
  • Supervisor Duties - Workplace Bullying and Harassment - D3-117-2

The Board of Directors' resolution is available for reference.

Sections 115, 116 and 117 of the Workers Compensation Act set out the general duties of employers, workers, and supervisors respectively. The new policies have been developed to clarify the obligations of employers, workers, and supervisors regarding preventing, where possible, or otherwise minimizing workplace bullying and harassment.  read more »

Heenan Blaikie analyses CSA's "Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Canadian Workplace"

In a November 3, 2011 post I reported that the Canadian Standards Association was commencing consultations on the development of a voluntary "National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace".

Two lawyers at Heenan Blaikie - Cheryl A. Edwards and  Shane Todd - have now published a detailed analysis of the standard that can be found here: "National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Canadian Workplace Released".

The analysis was published the firm's January 24, 2012 OHS & Workers Compensation Management Update publication. 

CSA commences consultations on voluntary national standard for Psychological Health and Safety in Workplace

The Canadian Standards Association ("CSA") announced yesterday that it is commencing consultations on the development of a voluntary "National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace".

The CSA's November 2, 2011 news release provides:

As the leading cause of short and long term disability in Canadian workplaces, psychological health and safety impacts in Canada are substantial.

However, in 2012 Canadian employers will have increased support for improving the psychological health and safety of their employees with the development of a National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. All Canadians are welcome to participate in a 60‐day public consultation that began November 1, 2011. The close of the Public Review period has been extended from December 31, 2011 to January 6, 2012. All comments are due by January 6, 2012.  read more »