To all of our clients with operations in Ontario.
Just when you thought the AODA Customer Service requirements were enough on your plate along comes the Ontario OHS Reforms. These reforms have just taken a major leap forward with the second reading of Bill 160 which will implement the first 10 recommendations of what is called the “Dean Commission”. (this Commission occurred following the deaths of the workers on the scaffold in December 2009 as a means of determining how the current OH&S failed these and other workers in Ontario)
All Dean Commission proposals — plus a number of other major OHS reforms — are now expected to be enacted either through further legislation or by regulation – and the timetable for reform is accelerating in Ontario in particular with the second reading being passed at Queen’s Park.
Make no mistake: the new OHS reform proposals will completely change your current safety programs and policies, including new OHS training requirements … mandatory training and certification for JHSC members … new “whistleblower” protection … tougher enforcement … a new voluntary OHS compliance program for employers to name a few changes.
Included in the mandatory training will be a significant ergonomic component. This will be beneficial to your organization as we have found in our practice over the last 20 + years that the more educated employees, union representatives and supervisors are about ergonomics the more inclined they are to undertake internal measures at the “shop floor” level. This includes improving how work is completed in terms of minimizing exposures to ergonomic hazards in a cost effective and immediate way.
If you need to learn more about the Dean Commission findings and report and its impact on Bill 160 please feel free to contact one of us at OPC Inc as we can all answer your questions and guide you on next steps. Remember education and training about ergonomics always has a positive impact in your workplace. Contrary to popular but false beliefs, educating employees does not result in them approaching the organization with expensive ergonomic fixes or shopping lists. An educated workforce in the area of health, safety and ergonomics is a workforce more inclined to work with the OH&S Joint Committees to find cost effective solutions for ergonomic related issues.
We will guide you and your organization thru the AODA regulations and requirements and the upcoming Bill 160 Regulations and requirements.
Jane Sleeth, Olga Dosis, Carrie DeMaeyer, Anita Ellement