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Compliance with occupational health and safety regulations may not be good enough

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In a recent decision, the Court of Appeal for Ontario held it is possible to comply with all relevant regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”), and at the same time violate the general duty under the OHSA to take “every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker”. In other words, despite there being a regulation that specifically addresses a particular workplace risk (such as fall protection), there may be cases in which more is required from an employer than compliance with the regulation. Exactly how much more will be determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the nature of the workplace and work being done.

The decision is important because it has the potential to create considerable uncertainty about workplace health and safety standards, and raises the bar for employers seeking to become or remain compliant with the OHSA. For a detailed discussion of the decision and its potential impact on employers, please click here to read the Briefing Note.

If you have questions, or would like assistance addressing occupational health and safety matters in your workplace, contact your Sherrard Kuzz LLP lawyer, or reach us through info@sherrardkuzz.com.


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