Legislative and regulatory amendments

Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) Updates

Effective July 1, 2020, Regulation 833 (Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents) is amended by O. Reg. 449/19 to reflect the adoption of new or revised occupational exposure limits (OELs) or listings for 36 chemical substances based on recommendations by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). An overview of these changes is given below:

  • addition of listings for seven substances in regulation: boron trichloride, calcium silicate (naturally occurring as wollastonite), hard metals (containing cobalt and tungsten carbide), simazine, acetamide, cadusafos, and folpet
  • revisions to exposure limits or listings for 19 substances currently regulated: boron tribromide, boron trifluoride, n-butyl acetate, sec-butyl acetate, tert-butyl acetate, isobutyl acetate, cyanogen, propoxur, triorthocresyl phosphate, warfarin, captafol, β-chloroprene, ethylene glycol, furfural, furfuryl alcohol, hexylene glycol, phthalic anhydride, stearates, and tungsten
  • removal of listing and OEL for one substance: calcium silicate (synthetic nonfibrous)
  • addition or removal of notations for nine substances: acetylene, butane (all isomers), 2,4-D, ethane, hydrogen, liquefied petroleum gas, methyl acetylene, methyl acetylene-propadiene mixture, and propane

Amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety Act

Bill 197, COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020 received Royal Assent on July 21, 2020 and amended the Occupational Health and Safety Act to provide that regulation making authority to adopt codes, standards, criteria and guides includes the power to adopt them as they may be amended from time to time (subsection 70(3)).

Amendments to Ontario Regulation 297/13 (Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training)

In Ontario, workers who may use certain fall protection equipment on construction projects are required to complete Working at Heights (WAH) training approved by the Chief Prevention Officer. Effective January 1, 2021, O. Reg. 297/13 (Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training) was amended to recognize fall protection training from Newfoundland and Labrador, in addition to Ontario’s Working at Heights training.

There is an existing exemption from Working at Heights training requirements for automobile manufacturers and assemblers that directly employ workers at construction projects located at an automobile manufacturing or assembly plant operated by that employer. As of January 1, 2021, the exemption was expanded to include a few additional workplaces that are directly owned and operated by an automobile manufacturer or assembler.

For more information, read the amending regulation Ontario Regulation 751/20 or the amended Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training regulation (Ontario Regulation 297/13).

Revocation of Regulation 852

  • Effective October 2, 2020, Ontario Regulation 852 under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) was revoked.
  • In December 2019, section 34 of the OHSA was repealed under Bill 132, the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019. Section 34 required notification to the Ministry for manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers who introduce new biological or chemical agents for commercial or industrial use in Ontario workplaces.
  • Ontario Regulation 852 (Inventory of Agents or Combinations of Agents for the Purpose of Section 34 of the Act) referred to an inventory of existing biological and chemical agents compiled or adopted by the Minister for the purposes of determining whether an agent was considered to be new and required notification under section 34 of the OHSA.
  • The revocation of Ontario Regulation 852 is consequential to the 2019 repeal of section 34 of the OHSA, as the regulation referenced the inventory discussed in section 34 and so was obsolete. This change is reflected in e-Laws at the following link:

Amending regulations


Ontario’s workforce

As of March 2021, there were about 7.4 million workers in Ontario — 6.4 million of these workers were employed in workplaces under provincial jurisdiction.

Total number of workers inOntario (in millions)
Number under provincial Jurisdiction6.


In 2020, there were 259 occupational disease fatalities by entitlement year, compared with 65 deaths from traumatic injuries, according to the Workplace Safety Insurance Board.

The sectors with the most traumatic fatalities were construction (31%), transportation and warehousing (15%) and manufacturing (11%). Although there were less traumatic fatalities in 2020 than 2019, the distribution based on sector remains similar.

For occupational disease, the sectors with the highest numbers are Legacy (82%)footnote 22 , manufacturing (4%) and Non-Hospital Healthcare and Social Assistance (4%).


Compensated Injuries

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

In 2020, workplaces under Schedule 1 (employers that must contribute to the WSIB insurance fund), had 48,429 allowed lost-time injury claims 1.07 per 100 workers) and 83,449 allowed no lost-time injury claims (1.84 per 100 workers). The sectors with the most allowed lost-time claims are non-hospital healthcare and social assistance (22%), manufacturing (17%) and retail (11%).

In 2020, for workplaces under Schedule 2 (self-insured businesses), there were 11,819 allowed lost-time injury claims (1.56 per 100 workers).

Critical Injuries

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

In 2020, 2,029 critical injuries were reported to the ministry — 1,636 of those were in industrial, 360 were in construction and 33 were in mining sector workplaces.footnote 23


As of March 31, 2021, CPO-approved training providers have trained over 1,020,000 workers on working at heights for the construction sector. In the 2020–2021 fiscal year, over 117,000 workers completed working at heights training or refresher training.

As of March 31, 2021, over 65,000 individuals have been fully certified as Joint Health and Safety Committee members, meaning they have successfully completed their Part 1 and 2 training. During the 2020–2021 fiscal year, over 12,000 people completed their Part 1 training, more than 9,800 completed Part 2 to become fully certified and over 4,200 completed refresher training. Numbers for 2020–2021 were lower than the previous fiscal year due to COVID-19.

From April 2020 through March 2021, the Health and Safety Associations provided over 767,641 participant hours of training on a variety of workplace health and safety topics.

The Prevention Division digitized CPO-approved training records and made them securely available through the Certification Management System (CMS). Between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, over 158,000 new learner accounts were created, over 110,000 new training course completion records were created and the CMS received over 800 requests for new employer accounts.

System finances

Investments — By category

In 2020-21, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and system partners continued to invest approximately $289 million to support the implementation of the integrated health and safety strategy.

Occupational health and safety investments ($ millions)

Transfersto health and safety associations (HSAs)91.9293.6190.8680.6794.32
HSASelf-generated revenue28.3728.2928.3727.618.21
Legislation /regulation development2.52.944.03.6
WSIB’s Health and Safety Excellence programN/AN/AN/AN/A1.5
WSIB’s legacy health and safety programN/AN/AN/AN/A32footnote 24


Transfers to Health and Safety Associations (HSAs):Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development Transfer Payment Agreements (TPAs) with HSAs 2016-2017 to 2020-2021.

HSA Self-Generated Revenue: HSAs audited financial statements 2016-2017 to 2020-2021.

Enforcement, Legislation and Regulation Development, Agencies, Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development Prevention Division: Government of Ontario IFIS Database 2016–2017 to 2020–2021.

Prevention Grants: TPAs between the ministry and the grant recipients 2016–2017 to 2020–2021.

Research: Figures are based on the TPAs between the ministry and the grant recipients 2016-2017 to 2020–2021.

Health and Safety Excellence program: WSIB Prevention Program Statistics for 2020–2021.


Other than “Legislation and Regulation Development and Health” and “Safety Association Self-Generated Revenue”, all investments in OHS 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 OHS 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, 2020–2021 ($ Millions)

Minerescue programN/AN/AN/AN/A5.24N/A5.24
Occupational diseaseN/A1.07N/AN/AN/AN/A1.07
COVID RelatedN/A2.53N/A0.062.772.537.89
Corporate services5.740.650.872.131.075.0115.47
Capital investmentsN/A0.06N/AN/A0.44N/A0.50

    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 Associations’ 2020-2021 Financial Reports to Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.


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, Training and Skills Development under Section 17 of Mines and Mining Plants, Revised Regulations of Ontario 1990 — Regulation 854

Data limitations

The OHS 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.

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’s 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[22] Back to paragraph In 2020, WSIB started using the new Rate Framework Model which is similar to other WCB Firms around Canada. With this new implementation, this changed the whole structure on how firms are distributed as well as claims. WSIB no longer have the same 16 Industries as they did in the past as well as Rate Groups and Classification Units. They now have NAICS, NAICS Class/Subclass and have calculated a new Industry Sector”
  • footnote[23] Back to paragraph Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. Operational Data as of April 28, 2021
  • footnote[24] Back to paragraph 2020 was a transitional year; final rebates for WSIB’s legacy health and safety program were paid at the beginning of the year and initial rebates for the Health and Safety Excellence program were paid at the end of the year.