What you Need to Know About Workplace Health and Safety in 2018

The health and safety industry is one of constant movement, change, and evolution. These changes usually come in the form of strengthened regulations and legislation, intended to keep workers safe and free from injury and illness.

2018 is shaping up to be a really exciting year, with several changes on the horizon, all meant to increase safety and wellness in your workplace.

Are you ready for all of the changes that 2018 will bring? Below we’ve listed all of the deadlines and changes—that we know about so far! As always, stay tuned to OSG’s newsletters, emails, and our website for updates, because this list only includes the changes we know of today. There could always be more changes, or new legislation, announced later in the year to further increase safety and accessibility, and reduce injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.

Deadline: NOVEMBER 27, 2017 – ALREADY IN EFFECT!

Bill 148 – Employee misclassification rules and elevated footwear legislation

Employers cannot misclassify employees as independent contractors. The penalty for misclassification of employees has also increased. Employers also cannot mandate workers to wear elevated heel (high heel) shoes/footwear.

Deadline: DECEMBER 31, 2017 – ALREADY IN EFFECT!

AODA Accessibility Compliance Reports

If you have over 20 people in your company, your Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Accessibility Compliance Report is due.

Deadline: JANUARY 1, 2018 – ALREADY IN EFFECT!

AODA Compliance for companies with 1-49 employees

Employers must make new or redeveloped public spaces accessible. This applies to recreational trails and beach access routes, parking lots, service counters, fixed waiting lines, service counters, and waiting areas with fixed seating. All organizations in Ontario have until 2025 to be 100% compliant with AODA, with several deadlines and phases occurring between now and 2025.

Deadline: JANUARY 1, 2018 – ALREADY IN EFFECT!

Bill 148 in effect: minimum wage, personal emergency time, scheduling rules, and more!

The minimum rate of pay increases to $14.00/hr. on January 1, 2018. The increase is not stationary; it will increase again on January 1, 2019, and again yearly at the rate of inflation for the indefinite future. As well, important rules to scheduling, personal emergency leave, and more, all come into effect on January 1, 2018.

Deadline: JANUARY 1, 2018 – ALREADY IN EFFECT!

New Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs)

Effective January 1, 2018, Regulation 833 and O. Reg. 490/09 are amended by (O. Reg. 287/17) and (O. Reg. 288/17) to reflect the adoption of new or revised occupational exposure limits (OELs).

Deadline: APRIL 1, 2018 ALREADY IN EFFECT!

Bill 148: Equal pay for part-time, casual, temporary, and seasonal workers

Employers have until April 1, 2018 to pay all part time, casual, temporary, and seasonal workers the same rate as full-time permanent staff who essentially perform the same work. Part-time employees are allowed to request a review of their wages if they do not believe that they are being paid equal to full-time staff, and the employer must respond by either increasing the rate of pay, or providing a written document explaining why they did not increase the wage.

Deadline: DECEMBER 1, 2018

WHMIS after GHS (WHMIS 2015): 100% Compliance

The transition to WHMIS 2015 must be complete at all levels: manufacturers, importers, distributors, suppliers, and employers. As of December 1, 2018, there should be no products bearing old labels or symbols in the workplace, and all MSDSs must be replaced with the appropriate SDS.

Deadline: ONGOING, 2018

Working at Heights: Construction Refresher Training

Those who took Working at Heights: Construction under the new training requirement in the year it was implemented (April 2015) will be due for their first three-year renewal refresher training at some point through 2018, depending on the date training was completed. Refresher training must be taken every three years to keep training and certification valid in order to continue to work at height.

OSG Can Help!

Don’t get caught past due! The Ministry of Labour has planned ahead for these changes, and they’ve increased their workforce in order to ensure that they have the inspector-power to enforce them. Plan ahead, and if in doubt, call 800.815.9980 to speak to one of our health and safety experts. We’re also available 24/7 on our website.

Written by Jennifer Miller | Curriculum Development Coordinator


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