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Ontario hikes fines for workplace health and safety

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Ontario has increased the maximum fines for individuals and businesses that don’t comply with workplace health and safety standards.

As of December 14, 2017, the maximum fines for an offence under the Occupational Health and Safety Act increased from:

  • $25,000 to $100,000 for an individual or unincorporated business (which had not changed since 1979).
  • $500,000 to $1,500,000 for corporations (which had not changed since 1990).

Ontario also changed the time limit to allow for prosecution, from one year from the date of the offence, to one year from the date an inspector becomes aware of an alleged offence.

Ministry of Labour health and safety inspectors conducted more than 79,800 visits to more than 34,700 workplaces during 2016 to 2017. They issued more than 118,000 orders because of non-compliance with Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). In this same year, the courts enforced more than $11 million in fines and entered more than 2,200 convictions against workplace parties.

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