Human Resources Legislative Update
Proposed OHSA Regulatory Changes for Automobile Manufacturing Plant Construction Projects
Date: March 29, 2019
The Ontario government has posted the following two proposed amendments to regulations made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which pertain to automobile manufacturers and to construction firms which undertake construction projects on behalf of owners of automobile manufacturing plants:
- Notice of Project Threshold Increase – Automobile Manufacturing Plants
O. Reg. 213/91 (Constructions Projects) currently requires constructors to provide a notice of project (NOP) to the Ministry of Labour where the cost of labour and materials is expected to exceed $50,000. As stated in the regulatory proposal, that amount was set in 1991 and it is generally considered by the automobile manufacturing sector as too low and “no longer reflective of the increased cost of construction.”
The government is proposing to increase that amount to $250,000 for construction projects taking place at automobile manufacturing plants and is seeking feedback from stakeholders on this proposed change.
- Working At Heights Training Exemption for Automobile Manufacturing Plant Employers
O. Reg. 297/13 (Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training) currently requires employers to provide training programs for workers on construction projects who are working at heights (WAH) and who are required to use specified fall protection. The training program, as well as the training provider, must be approved by the Chief Prevention Officer.
Automobile manufacturing plant employers had indicated to the Ministry that they have WAH programs in place which had to be adjusted to meet the regulatory standard.
The government is proposing to exempt these employers from the current WAH training requirements. They would still be subject to s. 26.2(1) of O. Reg. 213/91, which requires employers to ensure workers who use fall protection are adequately trained and given proper instructions by a competent person. The government is seeking feedback on this proposed change.
Any comments on these proposals are due by April 16, 2019.
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