OHSA Maximum Fine For A Corporation Increases to $2 Million
On October 26, 2023, Ontario’s Bill 79, Working for Workers Act, 2023 received royal assent. Among other changes to workplace law, Bill 79 amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) to increase the maximum fine for a corporation for a conviction under the OHSA from $1.5 million to $2 million. This amendment is in force as of October 26, 2023.
Corporations that are alleged to have committed OHSA offences before October 26, 2023 will not be subject to the increased penalty.
Ontario now has the highest maximum fines in Canada for corporations that violate health and safety legislation. In spring of 2022, Ontario increased the maximum fine for individual corporate directors and officers from $500,000 to $1.5 million.
These recent increases to the maximum fines for OHSA offences raise the stakes for corporations with workers in Ontario. It is important for corporations to have strong internal health and safety responsibility systems, policies and procedures which will assist in a due diligence defence.
If you have questions regarding how this legislation may impact your organization, please do not hesitate to contact a member of McCarthy Tétrault’s Labour and Employment Group.