Proposed Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act - Part IX Offences and Penalties

Regulation Number(s):
Occupational Health and Safety Act
Instrument Type:
Bill or Act:
Occupational Health and Safety Act
Summary of Proposal:
Some persons and corporations treat contraventions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) as a cost of doing business and the current penalties may not be a sufficient deterrent. Various amendments are proposed to the penalties provisions under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to address this. These include:
- Increasing the maximum fine from $100,000 to $1,500,000 for directors or officers of corporations and to $500,000 for all other individuals.
- Adding a list of aggravating factors that the court must consider for the purposes of determining a penalty under the Act.
- Adding a new authority under the Act permitting the courts to impose an order as set in regulation, on convicting a defendant, in addition to any fine or imprisonment imposed.
- Extending the limitation period for instituting a prosecution from one year to two years.

The proposed legislation intends to strengthen the offences and penalties provisions for violations including those that result in severe worker injury or death.

The proposed amendments would act to further persuade such persons and corporations to proactively take responsibility for worker health and safety and comply with the OHSA. In turn, this will benefit the health and safety of workers in Ontario.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
There is no regulatory burden or cost for businesses associated with this proposal. The enhanced penalties provisions would be available to the courts to impose on parties convicted of an offence under the OHSA. There is no impact on compliant businesses.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
22-MLTSD 002
Posting Date:
February 28, 2022
Comments Due Date:
March 29, 2022
Contact Address:
OHSA - Part IX Offences and Penalties
Health, Safety and Insurance Policy Branch, Ministry of Labour, Training & Skills Development
400 University Avenue, 14th Floor
Toronto ON M7A 1T7