Help is just a call away! Talk to an HR expert now. +1 866-606-0149

New Regulatory Changes in Ontario’s Construction Industry Coming into Force on July 1, 2023

May 29, 2023 | Uncategorized

The government of Ontario made an announcement this spring, regarding its plans to bring about modifications to specific jobsite requirements within the construction sector. Subsequently, proposed amendments were filed for the Construction Projects Regulation, which falls under the purview of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. With the scheduled enforcement date of July 1, 2023, it is strongly advised that employers in the construction industry acquaint themselves with the new or altered requirements as soon as possible to ensure compliance prior to the deadline.

What Employers Need to Know

The new regulatory changes encompass two primary aspects: personal protective clothing and equipment, as well as toilet, urinal, and clean-up facilities. Here’s an overview of these regulatory changes:

  1. Introduction of a new provision mandating that all personal protective clothing and equipment provided, worn, or used should be appropriately fitted, considering various factors such as different body types.
  2. Modification of the distance requirement for toilet, urinal, and clean-up facilities at jobsites. The new requirement stipulates that the distance should not exceed 90 metres wherever reasonably feasible, and if not possible, it should not exceed 180 metres horizontally from the project work area.
  3. Implementation of a new obligation to maintain toilet, urinal, and clean-up facilities in good condition at all times.
  4. Revision of the basic requirements for toilet facilities. The revised regulations necessitate that each facility includes an open-front toilet seat, a toilet paper holder with an ample supply of toilet paper, a self-closing door that can be locked from the inside, adequate illumination from natural or artificial light, suitable heating, if possible, adequate ventilation, privacy for the user, as well as protection from weather conditions and falling objects. Additionally, single-toilet facilities should be completely enclosed, excluding portable urinals.
  5. Introduction of new mandates for projects requiring a minimum of five toilet facilities on-site. One facility must be exclusively designated for the use of female workers (where reasonable under the circumstances). Clear signage indicating whether a facility is for male or female use only must be displayed, and all female-only facilities should be equipped with a disposal receptacle for sanitary napkins.
  6. Alteration of the requirement for projects conducted in remote, unpopulated areas where providing sewered or non-sewered flush toilet facilities is not reasonably possible. The revised regulation simply necessitates the provision of alternative types of toilet facilities.
  7. Creation of an exception to the requirement for each single-toilet facility to have its own designated clean-up facility. Instead, only one easily accessible clean-up facility is permissible for every two single-toilet facilities, provided they are located in the same area of the project.
  8. Modification of the requirement for situations where it is not reasonably possible to have a wash basin with running water at a clean-up facility. Instead, the revised regulation mandates the provision of both hand-cleaning means and an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing a minimum of 60% alcohol.

Numerous individuals on a jobsite will benefit from several of these regulatory changes, including improved access to properly fitting personal protective clothing and equipment, such as boots and safety harnesses. Additionally, there will be enhanced access to private, clean, and safe toilet facilities. It is important to acknowledge that many of these modifications specifically aim to improve conditions for women in the construction industry. Given the current underrepresentation of women in this sector, these changes hold the potential to foster increased female participation in the workforce within this crucial industry.