Windsor-Essex County Employment Lawyers Advising Employers on Workplace Health & Safety
In Ontario, employers have significant legal responsibilities to ensure the health and safety of employees in the workplace. Safe and healthy workplaces support increased productivity, reduce staff turnover, and avoid operational interruptions. As the party with the highest level of responsibility for workplace health and safety, employers face significant consequences for failing to fulfill their statute-mandated duties.
Willis Business Law works closely with employers throughout Windsor-Essex County to ensure their internal policies and procedures meet the requirements of Ontario’s workplace health and safety laws. The firm’s dynamic employment law group identifies risks and helps employers reduce potential liability caused by workplace hazards.
Employers’ Duties Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act
The Occupational Health and Safety Act of Ontario (OSHA) and its regulations set out several obligations for employers concerning workplace health and safety. Examples of an employer’s duties under the OSHA include:
- Ensuring equipment, materials, and protective devices are provided as required and maintained in good condition;
- Instructing, informing, and supervising workers to protect their health and safety;
- Appointing competent persons as supervisors under the OSHA;
- Helping joint health and safety committees and representatives to carry out their functions under the OSHA;
- Taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of workers;
- Where required, preparing, maintaining, and implementing written occupational health and safety policies; and
- Informing and training workers on any hazards involved in the handling, storage, use, disposal, and transport of equipment, substances, tools, etc.
Workplace Harassment & Violence
Harassment in the workplace, including sexual harassment, is a workplace health and safety violation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. As a result, employers are required by the OSHA to prepare a written workplace harassment policy and create a program to implement that policy. Employers are also obligated to investigate and report incidents or complaints of workplace harassment.
Workplace violence also falls within the purview of the OSHA and includes both physical violence and threats. As with workplace harassment, employers must prepare a written workplace violence policy and a program to implement such policy. The policy and program set out measures and procedures to control risk, report incidents of workplace violence, summon assistance when violence has or is likely to occur, and investigate and deal with incidents or complaints of workplace violence.
Offences & Penalties Under the OSHA
The provincial government can prosecute employers who contravene or fail to meet their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Convictions under the OSHA can carry fines of up to $1,500,000 and/or up to 12 months imprisonment.
Given the serious consequences of OSHA violations, employers should consult with experienced employment law counsel to ensure they are protected from liability and are executing their statute-mandated duties. Willis Business Law offers pragmatic, practical advice to help employers mitigate and respond to workplace health and safety risks. By ensuring employers’ internal policies and procedures meet the standards of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Willis Business Law helps businesses increase productivity, boost staff retention, and maximize profit.
Willis Business Law: Providing Trusted Workplace Health & Safety Advice to Employers in Windsor-Essex County
Willis Business Law has developed longstanding relationships with employers throughout Windsor-Essex County by providing reliable, robust employment law solutions. The firm’s skilled employment lawyers offer comprehensive, trusted advice and guidance to employers regarding their workplace health and safety responsibilities.
Conveniently located in the Windsor financial district, Willis Business Law provides dynamic, forward-thinking business, employment, and labour law services to clients throughout Amherstburg, Essex, Kingsville, Lakeshore, LaSalle, Leamington, Pelee Island, Tecumseh, Chatham-Kent, and Sarnia. To speak with a knowledgeable employment lawyer or schedule a confidential consultation, please call 519-945-5470 or contact us online.