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Ontario Government set to Expand the Definition of "Worker" under the OHSA

Bill 18, Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014 passed Third reading on November 6th, 2014.  Pending Royal Assent, the definition of "Worker" under the OHSA will be expended to include:

  1. Co-op students.
  2. Interns and;
  3. Volunteers.

Theses groups of individuals will be deemed a "worker" under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

What action do employer's need to take?

 If you use any of the three named individuals employers are strongly encouraged to provide mandatory health and safety training; including safety orientation with written records maintained  - to  be provided to the MOL safety inspectors when requested.

The wording under Bill 18 will see the definition of "worker" under the OHSA to read as follows:

Occupational Health and Safety Act

   1.  The definition of "worker" in subsection 1 (1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act is repealed and the following substituted:
"worker" means any of the following, but does not include an inmate of a correctional institution or like institution or facility who participates inside the institution or facility in a work project or rehabilitation program: 

  1. A person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation.
  2. A secondary school student who performs work or supplies services for no monetary compensation under a work experience program authorized by the school board that operates the school in which the student is enrolled.
  3. person who performs work or supplies services for no monetary compensation under a program approved by a college of applied arts and technology, university or other post-secondary institution.
  4. A person who receives training from an employer, but who, under the Employment Standards Act, 2000, is not an employee for the purposes of that Act because the conditions set out in subsection 1 (2) of that Act have been met.
  5. Such other persons as may be prescribed who perform work or supply services to an employer for no monetary compensation; ("travailleur")

For further information please contact Greg Sathmary at (613) 260-0600.

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