Health and safety updates explained

Health and safety updates explained

Health and safety updates explained Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”), there are obligations to report injuries that occur in the workplace. There are different obligations depending on the nature of the injury. Section 51 of the OHSA sets out the obligation to report when there has been a Critical Injury. A critical injury must be reported under s. 51 of the OHSA if there is a connection between the hazard that gave rise to the injury and worker health and safety.

Regulation 834 of the OHSA defines what a Critical Injury is. It states:

1. For the purposes of the Act and the Regulations, “critically injured” means an injury of a serious nature that:

(a) places life in jeopardy,
(b) produces unconsciousness,
(c) results in substantial loss of blood,
(d) involves the fracture of a leg or arm but not a finger or toe,
(e) involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot but not a finger or toe,
(f) consists of burns to a major portion of the body, or
(g) causes the loss of sight in an eye. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 834, s. 1.

Questions that can arise are - do I report a broken ankle or wrist? Does it fit in the category of finger or toe? Or is it more like an arm or a leg? What if the worker lost two fingers – is that a critical injury?

The Ministry of Labour has now clarified how they interpret the definition of “Critical Injury” in light of section 1(d) and 1(e) of the Regulation. The Ministry of Labour interprets this provision as including the fracture of a wrist, hand, ankle or foot – i.e. any such fracture would constitute a critical injury if it is of a serious nature. While the fracture of a single finger or single toe does not constitute a critical injury, the Ministry takes the position that the fracture of more than one finger or more than one toe does constitute a critical injury if it is an injury of a serious nature.

Clause 1(e) of Regulation 834 stipulates that an injury of a serious nature is a "critical injury" if it involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot but not a finger or toe. While the amputation of a single finger or single toe does not constitute a critical injury, the ministry takes the position that the amputation of more than one finger or more than one toe does constitute a critical injury if it is an injury of a serious nature.
April 1st Deadline for Working at Heights Training

As reported by CCPartners in April 2015, the Working at Heights Training Standard came into effect in an effort to strengthen the workplace safety culture in construction and reduce the number of accidents due to falls from heights. The new Training Standard’s purpose is to establish a minimum standard for high quality and consistent training. Workers who already had fall protection training were given until April 1, 2017 to complete the training now being set out in the Standard. As that date is fast approaching, you should also be aware, that if you still need to receive that training, it must be done by approved providers. The Ministry of Labour website provides a list of the approved trainers.