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The Investigator's Legal Handbook
by Gordon Scott Campbell


Le manuel juridique de l’enquêteur
par Gordon Scott Campbell

 

REGQUEST: Regulatory Offences and Compliance Newsletter (Carswell), 12 issues per year
Co-Editor Gordon Scott Campbell

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TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY LAW IN CANADA

1. Jurisdiction over occupational health and safety regulation is split in Canada between the provinces/territories which regulate most work places, and the federal government which regulates work places directly controlled through federal legislation. Federally controlled work places include ports, railways, grain elevators, and airports, in addition to federal government, agency and Crown corporation facilities.

2. Occupational health and safety legislation is primarily based on the three principles of workers: (a) being informed of hazards, (b) participating in prevention, and (c) having the right to refuse unreasonably dangerous work.

3. An employer generally has a duty to train and educate workers about hazards and their prevention.

4. An employer generally has a duty to supervise workers in order to prevent hazards.

5. An employer generally has a duty to create and implement procedures to control workplace hazards.

6. An employer generally (depending on employee numbers) must create an occupational health and safety committee involving workers and managers to identify workplace hazards and their correction.

7. Government occupational health and safety inspectors possess considerable inspection and information demand powers in order to verify compliance with proscribed standards. It can be a serious offence to refuse inspectors access to a workplace or deny them information to which they are legally entitled.

8. Government inspectors who find an employer operating in contravention of occupational health and safety regulations may issue a compliance direction, and also could lay a charge under regulatory legislation or the Criminal Code.

9. Employer supervisors, managers, directors and other individuals may be liable for violations of occupational health and safety regulations, in addition to the employer organization itself being liable.

10. Canada has incorporated into its national legislation much of the labour standards and rights contained within the 185 international conventions adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) since its creation in 1919. The tripartite structure of national representation is unique at the ILO, where each delegation is composed of two delegates from government, one representing workers and one representing employers, each of whom has speaking and voting rights. The only two major multilateral international conventions covering indigenous peoples were concluded under the auspices of the ILO: No. 107 of 1957 (Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention) and No. 169 of 1989 (Convention Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples).

 

This material is for information purposes only, is not advice, and since the law is constantly evolving its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. It may be freely distributed for non-commercial purposes provided you acknowledge the source and copyright.

© 2012 Gordon Scott Campbell, Barrister & Solicitor
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