What’s new and changing for workplace health and safety in 2018

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Video updates plus upcoming legislative changes and events in Ontario

The new year is an opportunity to review accomplishments, and to plan for the year ahead. 

Group of people in classroom looking at webinar television screensLast year, occupational health and safety highlights included new legal requirements for mining health and safety risk assessments, and consultations for legislated changes to occupational exposure limits, which come into effect January 1, 2018.

In addition to annual events such as the Workplace Excellence Awards, Northern Ontario Safety Group, the Mining Health and Safety Conference, and two Ministry of Labour (MOL) inspection blitzes and webinars are planned early in the year for mining and industrial sectors.

Mark your 2018 calendar in advance to help make Ontario workplaces safer and keep your organization in the know – here’s a roundup of upcoming workplace health and safety legislation and events.


Video: 2018 Industrial health and safety update from Tom Welton, WSN Industrial Director


Video: 2018 Mining health and safety update from Mike Parent, WSN Mining Director


Video: 2018 Ontario Mine Rescue update from Ted Hanley, OMR General Manager



Jan 1: New legislation provides compensation for work-related chronic stress from harassment, bullying

Jan 1: New legislation comes into effect to improve occupational exposure limits, respiratory protection, and air sampling

Jan 15-Feb 28: MOL Industrial inspection blitz - Machine guarding and electrical hazards

Jan 16: Mining webinar: MOL inspection blitz - Compliance on personal protective equipment and high-visibility clothing

Jan 24Industrial webinar: MOL inspection blitz - Machine guarding and electrical hazards

Jan 29: Safe at Work Ontario (SAWO) mining industry consultation

Jan: WSN-OHCOW webinar

Jan 14: Deadline: Call for Papers 2018 Mining Health and Safety Conference

Jan 22: Small Business Health and Safety Program sessions start, sponsored  by WSN and Ontario health and safety partners

Jan 31: WSN Feed Your Brain Lunch and Learn Series



Feb 1-28: MOL Industrial inspection blitz continues - Machine guarding and electrical hazards

Feb 1-Mar 31: MOL Mining inspection blitz - Compliance on personal protective equipment and high-visibility clothing

Feb 28: Repetitive Strain Injury Awareness Day



Mar 1-31: MOL Mining inspection blitz continues - Compliance on personal protective equipment and high-visibility clothing

Mar 15: Early deadline for Workplace Excellence Award submission



Apr 1: Working at Heights Safety Refresher Training - Legislated working-at-heights safety training came into effect on April 1, 2015 and is valid for three years from the date of successful course completion. As of April 1, 2018 those who first underwent the new training in 2015 will be coming due for refresher training. To maintain certification, learners will need to successfully complete half-day refresher training before the three-year anniversary date on their Proof of Training wallet card.

Apr 17-19: Annual Mining Health and Safety Conference includes presentations, sponsorships, trade show in Sudbury

Apr 26: International Noise Awareness Day

Apr 28: Day of Mourning 

Apr-May: Steps for Life – Walking for Families of Workplace Tragedy



May 6-12: North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week

May 7-13: Mental Health Awareness Week

May 9-11: 2018 Ontario District Mine Recue Competitions

May 31: Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) Phase 1 Ends The transition to WHMIS 2015 includes a three-stage transition period that is synchronized nationally across federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions. The first phase began on February 11, 2015 when the amended federal Hazardous Products Act and new Hazardous Products Regulations came into force. The final phase will end on December 1, 2018. During this period, WHMIS 1988 will be slowly phased out.



Jun 1: WHMIS Phase 2 until August 31, 2018 - During Phase 2: (i) Suppliers who are chemical distributors may continue to sell hazardous products with either the old WHMIS labels and safety data sheets or the new ones; and, (ii) Employers may continue to receive and use hazardous products with either the old WHMIS labels and safety data sheets or the new ones. As of September 1, 2018, distributors must sell hazardous products that comply with WHMIS 2015 requirements only. The transition to WHMIS 2015 will be complete for all suppliers.

Jun 5-82018 Ontario Mine Rescue provincial competition

Jun 6-7: Canadian Mining Expo – Timmins – visit WSN booth



Sep 1: WHMIS Phase 3 until November 30, 2018 - During Phase 3: (i) Employers should only be receiving hazardous products with WHMIS 2015 labels and safety data sheets, and (ii) Employers will have these final three months of the transition to bring their existing inventories of hazardous products into compliance with WHMIS 2015.

Sep 26: Workplace Safety North Annual General Meeting and Workplace Excellence Awards



Oct: Global Ergonomics Month 

Oct: Healthy Workplace Month 

Oct 10: World Mental Health Day

Oct 14-20: Small Business Week



Nov 8: Pulp and Paper, Sawmill Health and Safety Conference, Thunder Bay

Nov 30: WHMIS Phase 3 ends



Dec 1: Deadline for transition to WHMIS 2015 for all workplaces There should be no hazardous products in the workplace with old WHMIS labels and safety data sheets.

Dec 10: Deadline for 2019 Northern Ontario Safety Group application


For more information, contact info@workplacesafetynorth.ca.