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Expert panel calls for substantial improvements to workplace safety system

On Thursday, December 16th, the Expert Advisory Panel on Health and Safety, led by Tony Dean, announced the results of its review of Ontario’s occupational health and safety system.

Over the course of its work, the panel asked a wide variety of stakeholders for their views about how to improve the prevention system. The panel has now made substantial recommendations for improving both the structure of the system and its work. You can read the announcement and the full report here.

The recommendations support Health & Safety Ontario’s work. We welcome the release of the panel’s report, and are pleased that the announcement itself has raised public awareness about the need to enhance health and safety in Ontario’s workplaces. We are encouraged by how the panel has amplified the call to action to prevent workplace tragedies.

The recommendations include:

  • The establishment of a new prevention organization, housed in the Ministry of Labour, and an associated council of stakeholders. The health and safety associations would align with this new entity.
  • A strong emphasis on training, including mandatory awareness training for workers, supervisors, and health and safety representatives
  • A special focus on high-risk work, vulnerable workers, and small business.
  • New efforts to combat the underground economy.
  • Tougher penalties for willful violators.

Many of the recommendations will have an impact on Health & Safety Ontario’s work and the nature of our health and safety system. With the Ministry and our system partners, we’ll be reviewing the details of the recommendations in the coming days and weeks. We are committed to keeping you informed about developments as we look forward to being part of this new step forward for Ontario’s workers and employers.

As this transition takes place, our focus will be on continuing to deliver excellent health and safety service to our clients across the province.

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