The Ontario government has introduced legislation that seeks to, among other things, provide for the establishment of employer “health and safety management systems” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
If passed, Bill 70, Building Ontario Up for Everyone Act (Budget Measures), 2016, will, among other things, amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act to:
- Define “health and safety management system” as “a coordinated system of procedures, processes and other measures that is designed to be implemented by employers in order to promote continuous improvement in occupational health and safety”;
- Permit the Chief Prevention Officer (“CPO”) to accredit a health and safety management system;
- Permit the CPO to establish, and amend, standards that a health and safety management system must meet in order to become an accredited health and safety management system;
- Allow the CPO to give recognition to an employer in respect of one or more of its workplaces upon the employer’s application, if the employer satisfies the CPO that it is a certified user of an accredited health and safety management system in its workplace or workplaces and it meets any applicable criteria as established or amended by the CPO;
- Authorize the CPO to require any person seeking an accreditation, or who is the subject of an accreditation or recognition, to provide the CPO with whatever information, records or accounts as he or she may require, and authorize the CPO to make such inquiries and examinations as he or she considers necessary;
- Authorize the CPO to publish or otherwise make available to the public information relating to accredited health and safety management systems and employers given recognition, including the names of the systems and employers; and
- Require the CPO to publish the standards for accreditation of health and safety management systems and the criteria for recognition of employers promptly after establishing or amending them.
Bill 70 received 2nd reading on December 1, 2016. Stay tuned for further developments.
The bill, which also contains amendments to a number of other statutes, may be accessed here.