Ontario is gearing up to go into full swing into efforts to revamp its enforcement and prevention strategy relating to health and safety. The province is acting on the Tony Dean Report which is a list of reccomendations that resulted from an independant review of the provinces occupational health and safety system.
It begins with the legislative passage of Bill 160, which comes into effect on April 1, 2012. The Bill essentially shifts the primary role of prevention from the WSIB to the Ministry of Labour. It also calls for the creation of a prevention council and the appointment of a chief prevention officer, who will take charge of developing a province wide strategy.
Some changes that are int he report include: new training standards for new hire mandatory orientation and safety awarenss training for construction workers. At this point we have to wait and see what decisions or revisions are made after the April date. There will be positive changes to the Health and Safety system in Ontario, however it will mean more work and focus on the health and safety program by employers in order to achieve compliance.
Overall, if the end result of Bill 160 produces a reduction in workplace fatalities and critical injuries then everybody wins!