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Health care sector plan 2017-18
The plan lists health and safety priorities, describes the planned inspection blitzes and enforcement initiatives, and explains what inspectors will focus on during inspections at health and community care workplaces.
Safe At Work Ontario is a Ministry of Labour (MOL) initiative to raise awareness of and increase compliance with Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations.
As part of Safe At Work Ontario, the MOL develops annual sector-specific enforcement plans related to workplace hazards and describes the focus of inspectors.
This Sector Plan outlines the ministry’s enforcement initiatives to protect Ontario’s workers from occupational injury and illness.
Note that employers have the prime responsibility for ensuring compliance with the OHSA and its regulations.
Every year the ministry holds consultations to shape and improve its occupational health and safety compliance strategy and build closer partnerships with its stakeholders. These sessions:
- help the ministry to improve its approach to better meet the public’s needs
- provide an opportunity to learn from the ministry’s partners
- obtain feedback on how well the program is working
- increase support for new directions and
- identify areas for improvement.
The sector plans for 2017-2018 describe sector-specific hazards and compliance issues, and the MOL’s enforcement focus for inspections in each sector for the upcoming fiscal year.
The plan also acknowledges recent changes to the OHSA that will affect:
- occupational health and safety
- workplace parties and
- the ministry’s enforcement practices.
As of September 8, 2016, employers have additional duties with respect to workplace harassment, including a requirement to appropriately investigate workplace harassment incidents and complaints. The MOL has a Dedicated Harassment Enforcement Team (DHET) of Inspectors enforcing this new amended legislation.
New resources are available on the MOL site to assist employers and workers with the workplace harassment requirements under OHSA. A Code of practice under OHSA has been developed to help employers in developing their own workplace–specific harassment policies and programs to comply with the law.
Effective July 1, 2016, O. Reg. 381/15 - Noise Regulation under the OHSA replaced the noise protection requirements set out in the regulations for Industrial Establishments, Mines and Mining Plants, and Oil and Gas-Offshore and extends noise protection requirements to all provincially regulated workplaces.
This Sector Plan contains a brief description of some of the main issues that an inspector may address in the workplace. It provides a general overview of the ministry’s focus. However, each workplace is unique and the circumstances found by an inspector may result in a different inspection focus. It also contains additional background information on hazards as well as tools and resources relevant for those hazards.
Additionally, there is an overview of the number of critical injuries and fatalities reported to the ministry for each sector in Ontario. Also included are the number of work refusals and complaints reported to the Ministry of Labour’s Health and Safety Contact Centre and the number of field visits and orders issued by Ministry of Labour inspectors for each sector.
You are encouraged to familiarize yourself with this plan and share it with others in your workplace.
Ontario provides a toll free province-wide telephone number to report unsafe work practices and workplace health and safety incidents. Call the MOL Health & Safety Contact Centre at 1 877-202-0008.
Call any time to report critical injuries, fatalities or work refusals.
Contact the ministry from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, for general inquiries about workplace health and safety.
In an emergency, always call 911 immediately.
In this document, “health care sector” and “health care workplaces” refer to workplaces that provide health or community care services. “Health care” and “community care” include workplaces such as:
- long-term care homes
- retirement homes
- nursing services
- supported group living residences
- independent support residences (group homes)
- treatment clinics and specialized services
- medical laboratories
- professional offices and agencies.
Ontario Regulation 67/93 - Health Care and Residential Facilities applies to many, but not to all, of these workplaces. Refer to O. Reg. 67/93 subsection 2(1) for applicable workplaces.