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Consultations on Heat Stress and Outdoor Air Quality OHSA Provisions

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. MLITSD is seeking your feedback 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.

ORHMA welcomes comments from hospitality operations that have employees working in outdoor settings, such as maintenance tasks, pool work, and outdoor patios. Please send no later than September 1, 2023.

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