Workplace, Safety

What’s new and changing for workplace health and safety in 2023

In 2022, the Ontario provincial government implemented changes to workplace health and safety legislation that will impact businesses in the coming year. The government has also been using a risk management approach to prevent injuries and illnesses, with various industry research projects underway that aim to increase knowledge about the root causes of the top health and safety risks in each sector.

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a safe workplace where every worker goes home at the end of each
work day safe and healthy.

Work Place Safety North

Highlights of 2022: New legislation, programs, online training, and updated resources

  • In April, the “Working for Workers Act” (Bill 88) was passed into law and included updates to the Employment Standards Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • Starting in June 2022, employers with 25 or more employees must have a written policy on disconnecting from work and provide it to their employees.
  • Employers in high-risk workplaces must also provide naloxone kits and designate a trained worker to be in charge of them.
  • Starting in July 2022, fines for officers and directors have increased to $1.5 million and they may face up to 12 months in jail or both. The maximum penalty for a worker or supervisor has also increased to $500,000 and a possible sentence of up to 12 months in jail.

Given the ongoing presence of COVID-19 and other seasonal flu strains, occupational health and safety remains a top priority. To ensure the safety of workers, Workplace Safety North™ is offering a variety of virtual and online options, as well as hybrid learning programs that allow workers to attend training sessions either online or in-person. New resources, training, and updates from WSN in 2022 include the following.

What’s new and changing for 2023: Policy and program deadlines, plus upcoming inspection blitzes

  1. By March 1, 2023, employers with 25 or more employees must have a written policy on the electronic monitoring of employees.
  2. Government compliance initiatives in 2023 include two phases, the first is education, outreach, and awareness, followed by inspection blitzes. Initiatives for the mining and forest products sectors run until March 31, 2023, and include focused inspections on respiratory hygiene as well as asbestos in building structures.
  3. Occupational health and safety in Ontario continues to evolve along with the pandemic and flu seasons. As the public, government, and businesses adapt to help keep everyone safe, there are regular updates to information and resources around workplace safety guidance, paid sick leave, and reporting requirements.
  4. February 17, 2023, is the registration deadline for Ontario mining and forest products companies to register for the WSIB Health and Safety Excellence program. The Excellence program is a performance-based rewards program that helps businesses create safer workplaces and earn both financial and non-financial recognition.
  5. The Health and Safety Representative Basic Training reimbursement program continues for small businesses with 6 to 19 employees for training completed by March 31, 2024. It covers the cost for the $25 registration fee for the HSR training course, and $150 toward the cost of the representative’s training time.