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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Occupational Health and Safety Act

Volunteer falls off ladder and sues church

If a volunteer falls off a ladder, and there is no one around to see how or why they fell, who is liable? The Court in the following matter addresses this.

 

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What charites & non-profits can learn from the Ministry of Labour blitz on unpaid internships

Volunteers and unpaid interns are not covered by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) and therefore are not subject to minimum wage and other requirements of the legislation. However, on September 30, 2014, the Ministry of Labour released the results of its recent blitz where it was determined that a number of unpaid interns in various sectors of the economy were actually employees covered by the ESA, and accordingly, entitled to minimum wages, vacation pay and other protections afforded to employees under the ESA. While the Ministry of Labour did not specifically target charities and non-profits in this blitz, there are many lessons to be learned due to the large number of volunteers and unpaid interns working in these sectors.

 

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Employer was not duly diligent and paid the price with health and safety violations

health and safety violation

The Alberta Court of Appeal just dismissed an employer’s appeal and confirmed that the employer did not do all that was reasonably practical in the circumstances to avoid the reasonably foreseeable risks that led to the fatal accident of its employee. The court noted that the fact that the employer would even consider operating a machine that no one had any familiarity with and without either its own operator or a proper set of written instructions in itself spoke volumes as to the lack of the employer’s due diligence in this matter. Therefore, the health and safety violations were upheld.

 

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Verdict in Sunrise Propane gas explosion case

A series of explosions at Sunrise Propane’s north Toronto operation in 2010 resulted in the deaths of an employee and a firefighter, forced thousands of nearby residents from their homes and caused millions of dollars in damage. In the aftermath, the company failed to comply with various provincial officer’s orders under the EPA, and at trial the Ontario Court of Justice found the company failed to properly train the employee who died and failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent the explosions under the Occupational Health and Safety Act

 

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