Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Review Of Workplace Safety System In Ontario

Panel Chair

Mr. Tony Dean

I had the privilege of participating as an observer at the Public Consultation process of Mr. Dean's panel in June 2010.

There were so many participants who wanted their story to be heard that the second day was needed and each participant was limited to exactly the same amount of time as all the others. Fairness seemed to be a priority.

Personal experience after personal experience; story after story of how the 'System' had let the injured worker down. How the 'System' was encouraging the very abuse against workers that the Internal Responsibility System had been created to resolve.

Mr. Dean patiently listened to each and every one. He asked questions. He showed sympathy and compassion for those workers who had been mistreated. He gathered data and information.

What will he and the Panel do with all that valuable information? Seeing the process in motion was heart-wrenching. Stories of people who had to punch in the day after being injured so that there would be no 'lost time'. People who had to comply to the employer's demands because they had families to take care of.

It seemed to me more vividly than ever before that the system was indeed broken. Can Mr. Dean resolve the MOL, WSIB & HSA's intricate and integrated workings to re-vamp it into something that works in Ontario? We must wait and see. His report which was to be completed for the Minister by this Fall has been delayed until December 2010. And with good reason!

Who is Mr. Dean ?

Tony Dean is a Professor in the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. He advises on public service reform, with a focus on building capacity for policy and integrated service delivery.

From 2002 to 2008 Dean was Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the 66,000-member Ontario Public Service. He also served as Deputy Minister of Labour, and as Deputy Minister of Policy in the Cabinet Office.

Dean is a recipient of the Order of Ontario and has also worked as an advisor to several federal government departments.

Panel Members


* Joan Eakin
* H. Allan Hunt
* Carolyn Tuohy


* Jattinder Dhillon
* John A. Macnamara
* Domenic Mattina


* Bud Calligan
* Vernon Edwards
* Carmine Tiano

* View all biographies at MOL Review Panel Page

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ontario revamps OHSA

People are still dying at work. On Christmas Eve, husbands, fathers and sons died when the 'swing stage' that supported them dropped them 13 storeys to their deaths.

The law that protects them - the 'right to refuse unsafe work' - was in Ontario's Health and Safety Act.

So why did it happen?

Why did those men lose their lives at work?

The McGuinty Government announced a 'new' initiative last week. Taxpayers will pay for the Review Of Workplace Safety System In Ontario with an Expert Advisory Panel to conduct a comprehensive review of the province’s occupational health and safety prevention and enforcement system.

Will an overhaul of the law keep people alive who are afraid of losing their jobs? Afraid of being forced to leave Canada? Afraid of complaining when asked to do work that could kill them?

How does the law protect people who don't understand the language, don't know the law, and employers don't tell them?

Quebec protects their workers with 30 mandatory hours of safety training before he or she can get on a construction site. Not so in Ontario. Walk in - go to work.

How many have to die? How much do taxpayers have to pay for reviews?

Go to work - be safe - and come home to your family. It seems simple enough. How are we going to get there in Ontario?