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Fasken Martineau releases 2016 Employer Occupational Health and Safety Survey Report – Building a Safer Workplace

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Results of the 2016 Employer Occupational Health and Safety Survey released today.

Toronto (Canada) – Fasken Martineau, a leading international business law and litigation firm, has released the results of its 2016 Employer Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Survey, Building a Safer Workplace. In association with OSWCA, OFA and CME, Fasken Martineau conducted Canada’s first-ever national Employer OHS Survey. The specific purpose of the survey was to gather information to begin identifying potential OHS trends across Canada. Also of interest was employers’ understanding of their legal requirements to begin building and maintaining a safe workplace.

The survey was sent to employers across the country, with the highest percentage of responders coming from employers in Ontario, followed by British Columbia, Québec and Alberta. The survey topics included OHS policies and programs; violence and harassment prevention in the workplace; alcohol and drug programs and testing in the workplace; and OHS enforcement activities by regulators across Canada.

Key findings of Building a Safer Workplace include:

  • Approximately 10% of employers surveyed responded they did not have a written OHS policy in their workplace or were unaware if they had a policy
  • Officers and directors drive the health and safety culture of a workplace. Approximately 55% are trained in an OHS program
  • 81% of workplaces have an Employee Assistance Program to help workers with substance abuse issues
  • Over 50% of employers reported receiving a complaint of workplace violence and/or harassment in the last 12 months
  • Over 80% of survey respondents have not appealed an OHS order or direction in the past 12 months

“An OHS management system must be dynamic and evolve to meet the needs of the workers and organizations, while also remaining compliant. The philosophy behind the system should always be to protect and enhance the health and safety of workers. To achieve this, an OHS management system must frequently be reviewed and continually improved. Before improvements can be made, however, a basic foundation must be established based upon legislated requirements. Only through the identification of legal compliance gaps, can an organization begin to work towards establishing a safer workplace,” said Carla Oliver, consultant at Fasken Martineau in Toronto.

“The first Employer OHS Survey has brought a number of important issues to light. Fasken Martineau’s OHS LAW Gap Analysis can provide an effective starting point for determining legal compliance gaps, correcting them, and developing an effective OHS management system,” added Norm Keith, partner at Fasken Martineau in Toronto.

Download a copy of the Building a Safer Workplace Survey Report -OHSEmployer .

About Fasken Martineau

Fasken Martineau is a leading international business law and litigation firm. With more than 700 lawyers, the firm has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec City, London and Johannesburg. For additional information, please visit the firm's website at

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