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Keep an Eye on 5 OHS Changes in Ontario

Key new workplace safety rules that are flying under the radar due to COVID-19.

As in all provinces, enforcement of COVID-19 public health restrictions will be the top priority in Ontario for the foreseeable future. But OHS coordinators in Ontario should also be aware of other key legal developments flying under the radar:

1. New Working at Heights Training Certification Rules

Workers don’t need to complete a course certified by the Ontario Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) if they’ve completed an equivalent vertical falls course accepted by WorkplaceNL of Newfoundland and their certification remains current.

2. Pre-Start Reviews

The Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) wants to broaden exemptions pre-start health and safety reviews (PSRs) exemptions for factories and other workplaces covered by the OHS Regulations for Industrial Establishments and may propose a new regulation as early as May 1.

3. Simplified OHS Incident & Injury Reporting

The MOL is also looking into streamlining and simplifying OHS incident reporting by creating one set of rules that would cover all industries.

4. New First Aid Rules

The other thing to keep an eye on are the first aid regulations, which the MOL wants to revise, clarify and transfer from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to itself.

5. Inspection Blitzes

The MOL hasn’t yet published an inspection blitz strategy for 2021 due to COVID, but is still carrying out initiatives scheduled before the pandemic began, including the recent inspections campaign targeting workplace violence at educational facilities.