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Occupational Health and Safety
Occupational Health and Safety

Whether you’re involved in agribusiness or oil and gas, manufacturing, construction or transportation – in fact, whatever your business – McInnes Cooper’s labour and employment lawyers can advise you in all aspects of workplace occupational health and safety. Our range of practice runs the gamut from regular review of best practices to representing employers in alcohol and drug testing related disputes.

The workplace occupational health and safety services we provide to our clients include:


  • Policy Development and Review
  • Training
  • Occupational Health and Safety Audits
  • Work Refusals
  • Workplace Accident, Injury and Fatality Advice and Representation


Legal Update: The Legal Defence of Due Diligence – Top 5 FAQs
April 29, 2016

“Due diligence” is a legal defence to many charges under occupational health and safety (OHS) laws. Here are five of the most frequently-asked questions about the legal defence of due diligence, and practical tips to help you incorporate due diligence in your workplace.   1. What does “due diligence” mean in the context of the legal

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Legal Update: Construction Project Manager Sentenced to 3½ Years for Workplace Accident in R. v. Vadim Kazenelson (aka the “Metron” case)
March  9, 2016

In what appears to be the first case of the conviction of a front line supervisor under section 217.1 of the Criminal Code and sentencing to a substantial term of imprisonment, a court sentenced a front line supervisor to imprisonment for 3½ years for four counts of criminal negligence causing death and one of criminal

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McInnes Cooper’s Denis Mahoney in The OGM: New East Coast Offshore OH&S Regime – 3 Key Changes Add Clarity
August 21, 2015

Our lawyers know our clients look to us for information on how legal developments affect their business. In his recent article, New East Coast Offshore OH&S Regime – 3 Key Changes Add Clarity, McInnes Cooper partner Denis Mahoney identifies the three key changes the federal Offshore Health and Safety Act  made to achieve clarification of the roles and

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Legal Update: 3 Reasons for Directors, Officers and Supervisors To Take Occupational Health and Safety Personally
June 25, 2015

Most people know that a company itself has OHS obligations, and that it risks corporate liability if it violates those obligations. However, not everyone knows that the company’s directors, officers and supervisors share many of those OHS obligations and liability risks. Here are 3 reasons for everyone – particularly directors, officers and supervisors – to

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Legal Update: 5 Hot Tips to Help Employers Manage Office Romances
February 13, 2015

Romantic relationships between co-workers are unavoidable, with people spending so many of their waking hours at or connected to work these days. But an office romance can affect the workplace and pose challenges for employers both when it’s in full bloom and after it’s faded.   Workplace Impact. An ongoing or fizzled office romance can

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Legal Update: You better watch out … 5 Tips to Manage Employer Host Liability During the Holiday Season (Or Any Time)
December  5, 2014

The Holiday season is here – and so are the holiday parties. Employers host a virtual winter storm of events over the holiday season and beyond – office parties, retreats, client and customer receptions. They intend these to be enjoyable events, opportunities for employees to celebrate the end of a year together, thank customers, network,

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Legal Update: New Fines and Appeal Process for Violations of NS Workplace Health and Safety Laws Effective October 1, 2014
October 20, 2014

Effective October 1, 2014, the NS government has amended the Regulations under the NS Occupational Health and Safety Act to add provisions dealing with administrative penalties (financial fines) and the appeal process for workplace health and safety violations. Although many of the new provisions aren’t beneficial to employers or those appealing decisions, the good news

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Legal Alert: SCC Firmly Protects Workers’ Right to Refuse Unsafe Work
May  2, 2014

On May 1, 2014 the Supreme Court of Canada came firmly down on the side of protecting the right of workers to refuse unsafe work under occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation.    The particular case involved the right of a pregnant substitute teacher in Quebec to refuse unsafe work and the impact of doing

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Legal Update: NS Workers’ Compensation Board Issues New Policy for Psychological Injury Claims
April  7, 2014

On March 31, 2014 the NS Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) issued a new policy applicable to its adjudication of psychological injury claims under the NS Workers’ Compensation Act.  The new policy clarifies the WCB’s approach to compensation for stress resulting from an “acute reaction to a traumatic event”:   Criteria. Claimants must satisfy four criteria

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Legal Alert: SCC Clarifies Workers’ Compensation Criteria for Federal Employees
March 31, 2014

On March 28, 2014 the Supreme Court of Canada resolved the confusion about whether and how provincial workers’ compensation laws apply to claims of federal government employees under the federal workers compensation law (the Government Employees Compensation Act):   Provincial Law Unless “Conflict”. Provincial workers’ compensation laws (including relevant policies) apply to federal government employee

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Legal Alert: SCC Confirms Marine Liability Act Does Not Oust Workers Compensation Bar
August  6, 2013

On August 2, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that workers’ compensation legislation still bars an injured worker (or his dependents, if the accident was fatal) from suing an employer with respect to the injury (or fatality) when:   the federal Marine Liability Act applies; and a worker is injured or killed in a

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Legal Update: Privacy Trumps Safety As SCC Strikes Down Employer’s Mandatory Random Alcohol Testing Policy
July  2, 2013

On June 14, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30 v. Irving Pulp & Paper, Ltd  unanimously confirmed that in weighing two fundamental -  and at times contradictory – workplace interests, privacy trumps safety: an employer cannot unilaterally adopt a mandatory random alcohol testing policy for

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Legal Alert: SCC Strikes Down Employer’s Mandatory Random Drug Testing Policy
June 14, 2013

On June 14, 2013, in its highly anticipated decision in Communications, Energy and Paperworkers’ Union of Canada, Local 30 v. Irving Pulp & Paper, Limited, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the original arbitration board decision to strike down the employer’s mandatory random alcohol testing policy.  The majority of the SCC decided that:   Management

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