Unusual trend in MOL inspections

The Ontario Ministry of Labour might be easing up on inspections but the number of convictions actually rose last year.

Unusual trend in MOL inspections
With the Ontario Ministry of Labour easing up on inspections, employers would be forgiven for thinking they can relax a little but that’s certainly not the case – despite a continued reduction in field visits, the number of convictions actually increased last year.

According to leading employment lawyer Adrian Miedema, there were a total of 70,604 field visits by MOL inspectors in 2014/15 – that’s down from 73,204 in 2013/14 and down an incredible 30 per cent from 101,275 in 2007/08, which appears to have been the highest number ever.

“Convictions result from successful prosecutions by the MOL – either after a trial or a guilty plea,” explains Miedema.  

Predictably, the number of convictions has been declining in recent years in accordance with inspections – but last year broke the mould.

“The number of convictions has been declining in recent years and reached a six-year low in 2013/14,” said Miedema – but there were 817 convictions in 2014/15, up slightly from 780 in 2013/14.

“We will need to wait to see whether the uptick is part of a new trend towards more convictions,” he added.
  • The number of "critical injuries" reported to the MOL in 2014 dropped slightly from the previous year (down to 1,095) but has not declined significantly in the last few years. 
  • There were 81 "traumatic fatalities" in 2014, down from 102 in 2013, but still close to the ten-year average of 88.
  • The total amount of fines for OHSA convictions increased slightly in 2014/15.  The average fine per conviction in 2014/15 was $11,463.73, which is actually slightly down from $11,932.00 in 2013/14.
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