In most Canadian workplaces, owners and operations managers take every possible step to reduce the threat of employee injury and illness. Responsible company executives and decision makers—especially in dangerous workplaces that involve construction, mines or mining plants—take every measure to stay compliance with all legal regulations regarding worker safety.
But despite the strongest prevention measures, accidents and incidents still happen, and sometimes these unforeseen events can seriously injure those who are involved, including both employees and bystanders. Of course when a dangerous event takes place, the first concern will be stabilizing the situation and obtaining medical help for those who have been hurt.
But the law also requires company owners and executives to report the incident through the proper channels and in a timely manner.
After a Serious Accident
If any person has been killed or critically hurt, the employer has an immediate obligation to notify three separate parties: The Ministry of Labour Health and Safety Contact Centre, the union, if one exists, and the joint health and safety committee or one of its representatives. Direct contact must be made immediately by phone. Following this first contact, the employer will have 48 hours to contact the Director of the Ministry of Labor, in writing. This correspondence must document the specifics of the event in detail. The message must include the circumstances surrounding the incident, those who were affected or injured, the date and time, and other details covered in Section 51(1) of the Ministry of Labor Employment Standards.
If the incident involves a fire, explosion, episode of workplace violence, or any injury that requires medical attention, the employer must notify the joint health and safety committee and also the union within four days. This message must also be delivered in writing and must contain all the details outlined in section 52(1).
If the worker has an occupational illness or has filed a claim for an occupational illness with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, the employer must also notify the Ministry of Labor, the union, and the joint committee for occupational health and safety within four days, providing all the required details in writing.
Even if no one is hurt in the incident, these three parties must be notified within three days. If injured workers are self-employed, they’re still obligated to inform the Ministry of Labor in writing.
For more information on reporting requirements after a dangerous incident, reach out to the materials handling workplace experts at Liftow.