Regulatory amendments

The ministry regularly reviews its health and safety regulations to ensure they are current and reflect the changing realities of the workplace. In 2018-2019, the following regulatory amendments became effective:

All sector

WHMIS labelling requirements

Effective January 21, 2019, the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) regulation (Regulation 860) was amended to allow an exception for employers to create workplace labels for WHMIS 1988 products that continued to be used in the workplace after November 30, 2018.

Employers who wish to use WHMIS 1988 products in the workplace can produce a workplace label to be affixed to those products, which would replace any WHMIS 1988 labels. Employers are also required to produce a WHMIS 2015 compliant safety data sheet (SDS) to replace the WHMIS 1988 material SDS if they are unable to obtain an SDS from the supplier.


NOP notification threshold — Auto manufacturing industry

In March 2019, the ministry consulted on a proposal to increase the notice of project (NOP) notification threshold in the Construction Projects regulation (O. Reg. 213/91) for the auto manufacturing industry. This consultation led to regulatory amendments to increase the threshold for notification to the ministry for construction projects at auto manufacturing or assembly plants to $250,000. The amendments came into effect on July 1, 2019.


Vehicle conveyor guardrail exemption

Effective October 26, 2018, Section 13 of the Industrial Establishments regulation (Regulation 851) was amended to add a new guardrail exemption for a conveyor or similar system that transports a vehicle or vehicle part, and any raised platforms used with such a system. The exemption is limited to situations in which a guardrail would block the passage of the vehicle or vehicle part, prevent workers from performing work or pose a hazard to workers.

In situations where any of the exemptions to the guardrail requirements apply and there is no guardrail, an additional amendment now requires employers to develop and implement other measures and procedures to protect workers from falling.

More information on recent and past regulatory amendments is available through the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development Notices page.


Ontario’s workforce

As of March 2019 there were about 7.2 million workers employed in Ontario — 6.7 million of these workers were employed in workplaces under provincial jurisdiction.


In 2018, there were 85 fatalities from traumatic injuries in Ontario, as well as 143 fatalities from occupational disease that were compensated by the WSIB.

The sectors with the most traumatic fatalities were construction (32%), transportation (23%), manufacturing (11%) and services (11%).

For occupational disease, the sectors with the highest numbers are construction (28%), manufacturing (19%) and primary metals (12%).

More information about 2018 and other years can be found through the WSIB’s By the Numbers web page on fatalities.


Compensated injuries

Since 2009, Ontario has had the lowest frequency of lost-time injury claims in Canada.

In 2018, for workplaces under Schedule 1, there were 48,519 allowed lost-time injury claims (1.00 per 100 workers) and 114,451 allowed no lost-time injury claims (2.36 per 100 workers). The sectors with the most allowed lost-time claims are services (33%), health care (16%) and manufacturing (15%). The sectors with the highest rates of allowed lost-time injury claims are transportation (1.90 per 100 workers), agriculture (1.88 per 100 workers) and municipal (1.64 per 100 workers).

In 2018, for workplaces under Schedule 2, there were 16,336 allowed lost-time injury claims (2.17 per 100 workers) and 15,308 allowed no lost-time injury claims (2.04 per 100 workers).

Critical injuries

Critical injuries at the workplace must be reported directly to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

In 2018, 2,115 critical injuries were reported to the ministry — 1,760 of those were in industrial, 324 were in construction and 31 were in mining sector workplaces.


Between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2019, CPO-approved providers have trained over 635,000 workers on working at heights. In the 2018-2019 fiscal year alone, over 123,000 workers completed Working at Heights training or Refresher training.

Up to March 31, 2019 over 40,000 individuals have been fully certified as Joint Health and Safety Committee Members, meaning they successfully completed their Part 1 and 2 training. During the 2018-2019 fiscal year, over 18,000 people completed their Part 1 training, more than 15,000 completed Part 2 to become fully certified and over 500 completed Refresher training.

From April 2018 through March 2019 the Health and Safety Associations provided over 1,320,000 participant hours of training on a variety of workplace health and safety topics.


Occupational health and safety inspectors visit workplaces to provide information and conduct inspections to ensure that the workplace is in compliance with health and safety legislation. If a workplace is not in compliance, the inspector may issue an order and the employer must correct the problem within a certain time. If the problem poses an immediate threat to worker health and safety, the inspector may issue a stop work order, which means that work stops until the problem is corrected.

Inspectors also do consultations, which may happen before a workplace inspection. An inspector may discuss the purpose of their visit with the employer and/or joint health and safety committee members/worker health and safety representative and may request information from the workplace parties to prepare for their next visit.

Total inspections

In 2018-2019, ministry inspectors made a total of 89,188 visits to 41,196 workplaces and issued 129,975 orders. Of those orders, 7,485 were stop use or stop work orders.

Proactive inspections

Proactive inspections are unannounced field visits conducted to improve safety and prevent injuries or fatalities. At proactive visits, inspectors:

  • monitor compliance with occupational health and safety legislation
  • promote the internal responsibility system
  • advise workplace parties of their rights, duties and responsibilities
  • discuss requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations

In 2018-2019, 54% of the field visits (48,269) were proactive visits.

There were 87,748 orders issued during proactive visits, which accounted for 68% of all orders issued.

Reactive inspections

Reactive inspections are field visits conducted to investigate a fatality, critical injury, work refusal, complaint, occupational disease or other health and safety-related event in the workplace. Reactive visits are a critical part of inspectors’ work.

In 2018-2019, there were 40,919 reactive field visits, where inspectors issued 42,227 orders.

Over the past decade, the number of reactive field visits has increased from 23,979 in 2009-2010 to 40,919 in 2018-2019.

Top health and safety issues

In 2017, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development began an analysis to better understand the issues and violations being observed in workplaces. Based on their experience, each program area identified the top issues in their sector. The following lists show the top issues identified for 2018 across all sectors and by individual program.

All sectors

  • Workplace violence and harassment
  • Fall protection
  • Lack of personal protective equipment
  • Administrative
  • Health and safety representative (HSR) or joint health and safety committee (JHSC)
  • Improper access and egress
  • Basic occupational health and safety awareness training
  • Housekeeping/Work surfaces
  • Lack of equipment, material, and protective device maintenance
  • Lack of machine/equipment guarding

Industrial/health care

  • Workplace violence and harassment
  • Administrative
  • HSR and JHSC
  • Basic occupational health and safety awareness training
  • Lack of equipment, material and protective device maintenance
  • Lack of machine/equipment guarding
  • Improper material handling
  • Housekeeping/work surfaces
  • Equipment contraventions
  • Lack of training


  • Fall protection
  • Lack of personal protective equipment
  • Improper access and egress
  • Improper use/maintenance of ladders/scaffolding
  • Housekeeping/work surfaces
  • Other equipment
  • Electrical hazards
  • Improper material handling
  • HSR and JHSC
  • Hygiene


  • Conveyors
  • Traffic management
  • Lack of equipment, material and protective device maintenance
  • Electrical hazards
  • Lack of machine/equipment guarding
  • Improper access and egress
  • Risk assessment
  • Roads on surface
  • Improper use/maintenance of ladders/scaffolding
  • Administrative

System finances

Investments — By category

In 2018-2019, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and system partners continued to invest approximately $300 million to support the implementation of the integrated health and safety strategy.

Occupational health and safety investments ($ millions)
Investment category20142015201620172018
Transfers to health and safety associations (HSAs)93.190.891.9293.6190.86
HSA Self-generated revenue24.427.928.3728.2928.37
Legislation / regulation development2.


Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development Prevention Organization13.914.413.312.713.1
Prevention grants1.6



Workplace Health and Safety Servicesfootnote 13.4



Small Business Health and Safety Programs – rebatesfootnote


Safety Groups Program – rebates footnote 139.339.328.829.429

Transfers to Health and Safety Associations (HSAs): Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development Transfer Payment Agreements (TPAs) with HSAs 2014-2015 to 2018-2019.

HSA Self-Generated Revenue: HSAs audited financial statements 2014-2015 to 2018-2019.

Enforcement, Legislation and Regulation Development, Agencies, Ministry of Labour Prevention Organization: Government of Ontario IFIS Database 2014-2015 to 2018-2019

Prevention Grants: TPAs between the ministry and the grant recipients 2014-2015 to 2018-2019.

Research: Figures are based on the TPAs between the ministry and the grant recipients 2014-2015 to 2018-2019.

Workplace Health and Safety Services: WSIB Prevention Program Statistics for 2014 to 2018.

Small Business Health and Safety Programs, Safety Group Program Rebates: WSIB Prevention Program Statistics for 2014 to 2018.


Other than “Legislation and Regulation Development and Health” and “Safety Association Self-Generated Revenue”, all investments in occupational health and safety are funded by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board through a portion of employer premiums.

“Agencies” includes investments associated with the Office of the Worker Adviser, Office of the Employer Adviser and the associated administration.

HSA Self-Generated Revenue” are those generated by the health and safety associations through the sale of occupational health and safety products and services, bank interest income and investments of future benefits funds. These revenues are reinvested into the health and safety system.

HSA expenditures

The chart below states total actual spending by health and safety association. For each health and safety association, most expenditures are directed to training, consulting and clinical services.

Health and Safety Association expenditures, 2018-2019 ($ Millions)
Mine rescue programN/AN/AN/AN/A5.61N/A5.61
Occupational diseaseN/A1.11N/AN/AN/AN/A1.11
Priority focus2.790.690.72N/A0.988.7913.97
Strategic projectsN/AN/A1.02N/AN/AN/A1.02
Corporate services3.511.
Capital investmentsN/AN/AN/AN/A0.49N/A0.49

IHSA — Infrastructure Health & Safety Association

OHCOW — Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers

PSHSA — Public Services Health & Safety Association

WHSC — Workers Health & Safety Centre

WSN — Workplace Safety North

WSPS — Workplace Safety & Prevention Services


Health and Safety Association’s 2018-2019 Financial Reports to Ministry of Labour.


Totals include expenditures from self-generated revenue.

Numbers provided for WHSC is based on unaudited financial reports.

“Mine Rescue Program” is established pursuant to the direction of the Minister of Labour under Section 17 of Mines and Mining Plants, Revised Regulations of Ontario 1990 — Regulation 854

In 2018-2019, the total health and safety association actual expenditures were lower than the total investments (Transfers to Health and Safety Associations and HSA Self-Generated Revenue).

Data limitations

The occupational health and safety data in this report is limited, as:

  • ministry enforcement data may change as a result of ongoing enforcement activities and investigations
  • additional records could be added to the source databases after extraction, which would not be included in this report. This report is accurate as of the date the data was extracted.

System partner annual reports

More information on the work done by the system partners can be found in their annual reports through the links below.

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)

Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA)

Public Services Health & Safety Association (PSHSA)

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS)

Workplace Safety North (WSN)

The Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

Workers Health and Safety Centre (WHSC)

Institute for Work & Health (IWH)

Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health (CROSH)

Centre for Research Expertise in Occupational Disease (CREOD)

Contact information

Ontario provides a toll-free province-wide telephone number to report unsafe work practices and workplace health and safety incidents. Call the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008.

  • Call any time to report critical injuries, fatalities or work refusals.
  • For general inquiries about workplace health and safety, call between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday

In an emergency, always call 911 immediately.


  • footnote[1] Back to paragraph These categories are reported by calendar year (January 1 to December 31). All other categories are reported by fiscal year starting in the year listed in the header (April 1 to March 31).