As of December 14, 2017, the maximum fines for an offence under the Occupational Health and Safety Act increased from:
- $25,000 to $100,000 for an individual or unincorporated business (which had not changed since 1979)
- $500,000 to $1,500,000 for corporations (which had not changed since 1990)
Ontario also changed the time limit to allow for prosecution, from one year from the date of the offence, to one year from the date an inspector becomes aware of an alleged offence.
Protecting workers and supporting business is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of Medicare in a generation.
- In 2016-17, Ministry of Labour health and safety inspectors conducted more than 79,800 visits to more than 34,700 workplaces, and issued more than 118,000 orders because of non-compliance with Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
- In 2016, the courts imposed more than $11 million in fines and entered more than 2,200 convictions against workplace parties for contraventions of the OHSA and its regulations.
- Your rights under the OHSA
- Ontario’s strategy to protect workers’ health and safety on the job
- Ontario’s Integrated Health and Safety Strategy
“Ontario has one of the best worker safety records in Canada. Despite this, people continue to lose their lives or get seriously injured in workplaces every day. By increasing the fines for non-compliance, we are sending a message to all employers and workers that we are serious about enforcing workplace health and safety.”
Statement from the Chief Prevention Officer
This week, four workers were killed in separate incidents while at work. The lives of many families have been shattered. Colleagues and communities now have to deal with irreparable losses.
These are pointless and senseless workplace fatalities. It’s the law to keep all workers safe in the Province of Ontario. Through this statement I’m calling on the workplace parties to take on this serious responsibility to keep all workers safe. Ministry of Labour inspectors will aggressively be using a zero-tolerance approach to reckless violations and hazards.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations are the law. Everyone in the workplace – senior executives, owners/operators, directors, managers, supervisors, workers – is expected to obey the act and its regulations. It’s the law. There are no excuses. There will be consequences.
All of us have a responsibility for workforce safety.Preventing injuries and fatalities has to be top of mind every workday. Not one of us wants to be part of that next statistic. All of us must take ownership of our responsibilities on the job. You cannot say: “It’s not my problem, it’s not part of my job.” Health and safety is your job. It is a part of everybody’s job.