With the Ontario Ministry of Labour easing up on inspections, employers would be forgiven for thinking they can relax a little but that’s certainly not the case – despite a continued reduction in field visits, the number of convictions actually increased last year.
According to leading employment lawyer Adrian Miedema, there were a total of 70,604 field visits by MOL inspectors in 2014/15 – that’s down from 73,204 in 2013/14 and down an incredible 30 per cent from 101,275 in 2007/08, which appears to have been the highest number ever.
“Convictions result from successful prosecutions by the MOL – either after a trial or a guilty plea,” explains Miedema.
Predictably, the number of convictions has been declining in recent years in accordance with inspections – but last year broke the mould.
“The number of convictions has been declining in recent years and reached a six-year low in 2013/14,” said Miedema – but there were 817 convictions in 2014/15, up slightly from 780 in 2013/14.
“We will need to wait to see whether the uptick is part of a new trend towards more convictions,” he added.
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- The number of "critical injuries" reported to the MOL in 2014 dropped slightly from the previous year (down to 1,095) but has not declined significantly in the last few years.
- There were 81 "traumatic fatalities" in 2014, down from 102 in 2013, but still close to the ten-year average of 88.
- The total amount of fines for OHSA convictions increased slightly in 2014/15. The average fine per conviction in 2014/15 was $11,463.73, which is actually slightly down from $11,932.00 in 2013/14.