Live Safe! Work Smart!

eNewsletter for Ontario Teachers - December 2015

New Look for Live Safe! Work Smart! – COMING SOON!

The Ministry of Labour is working towards making the Live Safe! Work Smart! website accessible to all by January 1, 2016. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) became law in 2005 with the aim to create a fully accessible province by 2025. The government of Ontario has developed mandatory accessibility standards that identifies, removes and prevents barriers for people with disabilities.

As part of our commitment to make the Live Safe! Work Smart! website AODA compliant, the website and available resources such as the newsletter, will be updated to an accessible format.

WorkSmartOntario to Retire

Resources for young workers, employers and parents can be found on the Ministry of Labour's Young Workers page, as the WorkSmartOntario website for new and young workers will be shutting down in December 2015. This move will ensure that the latest young worker resources are up to date, easy to find and integrated with the other valuable information on the ministry's website.

Changes to WHMIS

The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is changing. Since 1988, WHMIS has been Canada’s hazard communication system for workplace chemicals. It is a national system implemented through interlocking federal, provincial and territorial legislation and regulations.

WHMIS is changing to adopt new international standards for classifying hazardous chemicals and providing information on labels and safety data sheets. These new international standards are part of the Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) and are being phased in across Canada between February 2015 and December 2018. In Ontario, proposed amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to implement WHMIS 2015 were introduced on April 2, 2015 in Bill 85. When these amendments are passed, the WHMIS Regulation would be amended.

What's Different?

WHMIS 2015 includes new harmonized criteria for hazard classification and requirements for labels and safety data sheets (SDS).

Under WHMIS 2015, “controlled products” are called “hazardous products” and there are:

The key responsibilities of suppliers, employers and workers are the same under WHMIS 2015.


During the transition, employers must ensure that workers are trained on:

For more information about the new federal WHMIS requirements, please visit the Health Canada website. For information on the transition to WHMIS 2015 in Ontario, please see the FAQs on the Ministry of Labour’s website. General information for suppliers, employers and workers is available at Canada's National WHMIS Portal. You can also visit the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) website for free online training on WHMIS 2015 for Workers. This is for a limited time only.

Speak Up! Speak Out!

Know any students that are passionate about health and safety? Encourage your students to Speak Up! And Speak Out! in this year’s It’s Your Job video contest. This year’s theme allows students to create a 2 minute video that demonstrates:

Not only will they educate themselves about their rights and responsibilities as a “worker”, but also educate other students from across the province and country.

What better way to showcase their talents and knowledge of workplace safety than to participate in a student video contest for a chance to win cash prizes and national recognition!

The WSIB is partnering with the MOL once again and will be matching the prize money, increasing it to:

Also NEW this year, the first place national contest winner will get the chance to attend the North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week Launch ceremony on May 2, 2016, in Ottawa, where their video will be announced and shown.

It’s not too late! Contest ends on March 11, 2016. Visit the student video contest webpage to learn more.

ES advice for students starting seasonal jobs

The holidays are fast approaching and students across Ontario are looking for part-time, seasonal work. For many, this may be their first job so it is important for them to know they have rights protecting them against workplace health and safety hazards and employment standards violations.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) sets out the rights and duties of all parties in the workplace. It establishes procedures for dealing with workplace hazards and it provides for enforcement of the law where compliance has not been achieved voluntarily.

The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) sets minimum standards for things like pay, work hours and time off. Most workplaces in Ontario must follow this law and employee rights are the same whether you work full-time or part-time.

Please refer your students to our resources available on the Ministry of Labour’s Young Workers webpage so they can learn more about their rights before starting work this holiday season.


Ministry of Labour resource website for teachers

Ministry of Labour’s Young Workers webpage

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