What’s new and changing for workplace health and safety in 2024


Upcoming events and legislative changes in Ontario

In 2023, there were changes to Ontario workplace health and safety legislation that will affect businesses in the year ahead.

The provincial government also continues to apply a risk management approach to injury and illness prevention. Workplace Safety North (WSN) continues to facilitate many industry research projects for Ontario mining and forest products sectors. Research has resulted in new information and increased awareness of top health and safety risks specific to each sector, and their root causes.

First, let's take a look back at 2023 to review how the occupational health and safety landscape has changed over the past year.

Highlights of 2023

New legislation, programs, online training, and updated resources

  • In February and April, WSN hosted the safe return to in-person events with sold-out Battery Electric Vehicle Safety Symposium and the annual Mining Health and Safety Conference.
  • By March 1, 2023, employers with 25 or more employees must have created a written policy on the electronic monitoring of employees.
  • Latest WSN Workplace Health and Safety Snapshot infographics show latest Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) statistics on injuries and disease for Ontario mining and forest products sectors.
  • In Aug. and Sept. 2023, the Ontario government asked for public input on potential regulations for heat stress and poor outdoor air quality under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)
  • On Oct. 26, 2023, Ontario’s Working for Workers Act, 2023 (Bill 79), took effect. Updated laws include the OHSA, the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), and the Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act, 2009 (EPFNA).
  • On Dec. 14, 2023, WSN launched new posters showing top occupational disease risks in forestry, pulp and paper and mining sectors. Developed in partnership with the Occupational Cancer Research Centre, the posters show research results of the occupational disease surveillance system that monitors more than two million Ontario workers. 
  • A new risk assessment toolkit that helps mining operations meet Ministry requirements was introduced in December. A new Risk Management resources webpage lists related services and training.

As COVID-19 and seasonal flus like RSV are an ongoing issue, occupational health and safety continues to be a primary focus. WSN continues to expand virtual and online offerings, as well as develop hybrid learning programs that allow workers to attend the same training session whether virtually or in-person.

As of December 2023, WSN has provincial approval to provide hybrid (virtual and in-person at the same time) training for Joint Health and Safety Certification Training Part 1 English and French courses. This will provide improved accessibility and convenience for Ontario employers with 20 or more employees.

New WSN resources, training, and updates

Forest Products


Surface diamond drilling root cause analysis

Underground mining risk assessment and root cause analysis

What’s new and changing for 2024

  1. Government compliance initiatives in 2024 include two phases, the first is education, outreach, and awareness, followed by inspection blitzes. Initiatives for the mining and forest products sectors run from April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024, and include focused inspections on industrial material handling as well as mining training (common core and specialty modules).
  2. February 16, 2024, is the registration deadline for Ontario mining and forest products companies to register for the WSIB Health and Safety Excellence program. The Excellence program is a performance-based rewards program that helps businesses create safer workplaces and earn both financial and non-financial recognition.
  3. The Health and Safety Representative Basic Training reimbursement program continues for small businesses with 6 to 19 employees for training completed by March 31, 2024. It covers the cost for the $25 registration fee for the HSR training course, and $150 toward the cost of the representative’s training time.

2024 Upcoming events: Mark your calendar

In the new year, upcoming events include industry-focused webinars, the Battery Electric Vehicle Safety in Mines Symposium, Excellence program meetings, and the Mining Health and Safety Conference.

For more information, contact your local WSN Health and Safety Specialist.


Workplace safety resources

Upcoming training

Upcoming events