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Heat Stress and Outdoor Air Quality OHSA Provisions Feedback Request

Heat Stress and Outdoor Air Quality OHSA Provisions Feedback Request August 09, 2023

Heat stress is a significant cause of occupational illnesses that may lead to death. Heat-related illnesses affect all workers. Due to changes in our climate, extreme heat events are a growing health risk to workers in Ontario. The Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) is now proposing to introduce a stand-alone heat stress regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) with specific requirements that would apply to all workplaces to which the OHSA applies.

Outdoor air quality in Ontario can vary due to a variety of factors including pollutant emissions. The OHSA and its regulations do not specifically address poor outdoor air quality. Under the OHSA, employers have a general duty to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker. This includes protecting workers from the hazards associated with poor outdoor air quality that could pose a risk to workers working outdoors.

OACETT is requesting feedback from members on whether poor outdoor air quality is an issue for Ontario workplaces, and whether the OHSA and/or its regulations may need to be changed. 

Please refer to the MLITSD consultation paper on Poor Outdoor Air Quality and Workplace Health and Safety Consultation and provide your comments no later than Friday, August 25, 2023, at 5:00 pm. Your comments will be used to formalize a submission on behalf of members to the ministry.

Feedback Form

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