Proposed Changes Affecting the Control of Hazardous Substances under the Occupational Health and Safety Act

Regulation Number(s):
Instrument Type:
Bill or Act:
Occupational Health and Safety Act
Summary of Decision:
On July 25, 2017, amendments to Reg. 833 (Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents), O. Reg. 490/09 (Designated Substances), and Reg. 851 (Industrial Establishments) were approved. These amendments include changes to the Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs) and/or listings for 21 substances based on the annual OEL updates recommended by the American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) for the years 2014 and 2015. Reg. 851 has been amended to require mechanical ventilation where workers are likely to be exposed to oxygen concentrations less than 19.5 per cent by volume. These amendments come into effect on January 1, 2018. These amendments will help protect Ontario's workers from exposure to hazardous substances, a cause of occupational disease.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
July 31, 2017
Summary of Proposal:
Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs) restrict the amount and duration of worker exposure to hazardous workplace substances such as asbestos, benzene and lead.

Consultation on the annual revised limits recommended by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) is the foundation of the Ministry of Labour (MOL)'s OEL update process. Through this process, the MOL has successfully updated OELs for over 200 hazardous substances since 2004. This is the MOL's 11th consultation under the OEL update process. It is based on the ACGIH's annually recommended changes to OELs for the years 2014 and 2015.

This year, in addition to consulting on new or revised OELs for a number of substances, the MOL is proposing to:

-Introduce new respiratory protection and measuring provisions (air sampling) into Regulation 833 (Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to better protect workers;
-Change the minimum oxygen content set out in subsection 138(1) of Regulation 851 (Industrial Establishments); and
-Change the frequency of medical tests for workers exposed to asbestos, which is currently set out in paragraph 2 of subsection 22(4) of O. Reg. 278/05 (Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations).

See links below for more information on this proposal.

Notice to Consultation Participants

Submissions and comments provided to the Ministry of Labour are part of a public consultation process to solicit views on proposed revisions to Regulation 833, O. Reg. 490/09, O. Reg. 278/05 and Regulation 851. This process may involve the Ministry publishing or posting to the internet your submissions, comments, or summaries of them. In addition, the Ministry may also disclose your submissions, comments, or summaries of them, to other parties during and after the consultation period.

Therefore, you should not include the names of other parties (such as the names of employers or other employees) or any other information by which other parties could be identified in your submission.

Further, if you, as an individual, do not want your identity to be made public, you should not include your name or any other information by which you could be identified in the main body of the submission. If you do decide to identify yourself in the body of the submission this information may be released with published material or made available to the public. However, your name and contact information provided outside of the body of the submission, such as found in a cover letter, will not be disclosed by the Ministry unless required by law. An individual who provides a submission or comments and indicates an affiliation with an organization will be considered a representative of that organization and his or her identity may be disclosed.

Personal information collected during this consultation is under the authority of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and is in compliance with section 38 (2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

If you have any questions regarding privacy matters, you may contact the Ministry's Freedom of Information and Privacy Office at 416-326-7786.
Contact Address:
2016 Hazardous Substance Review Project
Ontario Ministry of Labour
12th Floor, 400 University Avenue
Toronto, ON M7A 1T7
Effective Date:
January 1, 2018