May 2nd, 2020
Reviewing the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and the COVID-19 Pandemic
In an effort to protect workers, workplace requirements have changed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) has five specific requirements that must be followed during a pandemic.
We received a helpful review of these pandemic OHSA requirements. It was put together as a joint effort between the law firms of Cunningham Swan and J. Watkins & Associates.
5 OHSA requirements during a pandemic
In this review you will find information on the applicability of the OHSA during the COVID-19 pandemic. These five points include:
- Reasonable precautions that must be taken to protect workers as per guidelines released by the Ministry of Labour.
- Reporting occupational illnesses to the appropriate contacts, following OHSA guideline procedures.
- Reporting and investigating critical injuries and fatalities to the appropriate contacts, following OHSA guideline procedures.
- Handling work refusals from employees who feel the workplace is likely to endanger them. There is a process for workers to follow when exercising this right.
- Reprisals prohibited by the OHSA. Employers mustn’t discipline or penalize a worker because they acted in compliance with the OHSA.
Read the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the COVID-19 Pandemic Review.
This review was assembled as a joint effort between the Labour and Employment Team of Cunningham Swan in Kingston, Ontario, and Joe Watkins of J. Watkins & Associates in Gananoque, Ontario.