The Ministry of Labour has released the names of the 11-member Prevention Council which was established by amending the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) in 2011. An interim Prevention Council has been in place since 2011. The Prevention Council will advise the Minister of Labour, in collaboration with the Chief Prevention Officer, George Gritziotis, on:

  • Prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses;
  • Development of a provincial occupational health and safety strategy; and
  • Any significant changes to funding or service delivery under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.

The Prevention Council is composed of four representatives each for labour and employers, one for non-union workers and one for the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, as well as an occupational health and safety expert. The members of the council are:

Labour representatives

  • Patrick Dillon, Business Manager and Secretary Treasurer, Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario
  • Colin Grieve, Occupational Disease Worker Advocate, Hamilton and Ontario Professional Firefighters Associations
  • Nancy Hutchison, Secretary Treasurer, Ontario Federation of Labour
  • Bryan Neath, Regional Director – Ontario, United Food and Commercial Workers Canada

Non-union worker representative

  • Linda Vannucci, Director, Toronto Workers’ Health and Safety Legal Clinic

Employer representatives

Occupational health and safety expert

  • Graeme Norval, Associate Chair and Undergraduate Coordinator, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto

WSIB representative

  • Susanna Zagar, Chief Strategist, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board

The Prevention Council was scheduled to have its first meeting on September 28, 2012.

While specific next steps for this newly constituted Prevention Council have yet to be made public, we expect that the Prevention Council will begin examining how to further implement recommendations from the Dean Panel Report (see our previous articles on the Dean Panel Report here and here ). In particular, we may see recommendations on training standards and mandatory training requirements for workers, supervisors, and health and safety representatives as the first focus of the Prevention Council. We will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available.