May 5, 2022
There was a meeting today between the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL), Ontario Ministry of Government and Commercial Services (MGCS), the Technical Safety and Standards Authority (TSSA) and Operating Engineers Advisory Council (IPE is an active participant) to review what tools are available to Operating Engineers when faced with reprisals in the workplace.
It was agreed that all workers are protected by MOL’s Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations (OHSA) Part VI, Section 50 that prohibits reprisals by employers. It was also agreed by all at the meeting today that an Operating Engineer is responsible for the duties charged under the OE Regulation 219/01, and that charges can be levied by the TSSA when an Operating Engineer does not ensure compliance to the regulation. What was surprising to the MOL and MGCS is the unsettled position in which Chief Engineers are held in when carrying out those duties, and that they can, and have been let go from their employment for guaranteeing compliance to Reg. 219/01. OHSA is silent in this situation, and as a result, various Chief Engineers over the years have been fired by (employers) Plant users for performing their legislative obligation. The IPE has been raising this matter with the TSSA at every opportunity. The comeback until now, was that the TSSA does not get involved in labour relations, and that OHSA provides that support.
Because of this new realization, that there is a gap in worker protection that has significant safety implications, further meetings will be taking place.
Institute of Power Engineers
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