Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) is an area of growing importance for businesses and organizations operating in Canada and abroad. Across Canada, the legal risks associated with work-related injuries and the public interest in them have led to the rigorous application of OSH legislation. Employers are directly affected by this legislation, which exists at the provincial level (each Canadian province has its own OSH legislation) and at the federal level (the Canada Labor Code governs OSH issues for employers under federal jurisdiction). Inspectors enforce OSH laws by issuing orders and directives, as well as making almost criminal charges. To establish an effective OSH management system and, where appropriate, a due diligence defense, an employer must meet many of the mandatory requirements for OSH policies and procedures.
Bill C-45 (also known as the “Westray Act” because of the 1992 work accident at the Westray coal mine in Nova Scotia) amended the Criminal Code so that criminal negligence charges with respect to OSH can now be brought against companies and individuals. In fact, a company that is found guilty of this type of negligence can be fined a lot. Officers and officers of the company are also liable to imprisonment. We advise and represent organizations, directors, officers and managers in the complex and specialized prosecution and court proceedings that fall under the OSH legislation.
Workers’ compensation schemes exist at the national level. These no-fault plans provide benefits for injured workers regardless of the cause of the injury. The compensation scheme provides for the replacement of the lost income of an injured worker, which prohibits civil proceedings based on allegations of misconduct by the worker against his employer. Claims management is a process that involves many complex elements, including classification by charging groups, the right to compensation and appeals, and the transfer of claim costs to workers’ compensation boards.
Fasken Martineau has among its team of construction accident attorney and consultants who are recognized among the best in the field of OHS to help with issues of environment, health and safety (“ESS”). We have been involved in writing many of the leading books in this area, and we have been involved in a number of key OSH law cases before courts at all levels, including Supreme Court of Canada. We are able to assist employers with legal issues related to OSH, workplace injury investigations, OSH enforcement procedures, and claims challenges.
- Providing advice to employers on OHS legislation, regulation and new developments
- Representation of employers and senior management of companies when workplace accidents occur
- Appeals for Orders and Directives Made by OHS Regulatory Authorities
- Employers’ defense in the courts in the prosecution of criminal and regulatory OHS offenses
- Provision of legal advice and representation on workplace compensation issues, appeals and related litigation