February 2017

The Ontario Ministry of Labour issued statement clarifying the definition of “critical injury” under Regulation 834 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Regulation 834 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act defines critical injury as follows:

“critically injured” means an injury of a serious nature that,

  • places life in jeopardy,
  • produces unconsciousness,
  • results in substantial loss of blood,
  • involves the fracture of a leg or arm but not a finger or toe,
  • involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot but not a finger or toe,
  • consists of burns to a major portion of the body, or
  • causes the loss of sight in an eye.

The Ministry of Labour’s also considers the following situations critical injuries:

  • fracture or amputation of more than one finger or more than one toe
  • fracture of a wrist, hand, ankle or foot

The clarifying statement is not a legal amendment of the Occupational Health and Safety Act or Regulation 834.  However, it is a guideline that will assist the Ministry of Labour, its inspectors and prosecutors.

Where a critical injury or worker fatality has occurred in the workplace, the following  obligations are to be carried out by the constructor and employer:

Step 1:  Call 911 and obtain medical assistance as soon as possible

Step 2:  Secure the accident scene.  No one is allowed to alter the accident scene unless one of the following conditions is met.

OHSA s. 51(2) Where a person is killed or is critically injured at a workplace, no person shall, except for the purpose of,

(a) saving life or relieving human suffering;

(b) maintaining an essential public utility service or a public transportation system; or

(c) preventing unnecessary damage to equipment or other property, interfere with, disturb, destroy, alter or carry away any wreckage, article or thing at the scene of or connected with the occurrence until permission so to do has been given by an inspector

Step 3:  The constructor and employer (if any) must immediately notify a Ministry of Labour inspector, the joint health and safety committee (or health and safety representative) and where applicable, the union.

Step 4:  Employer must send a written report of the circumstances of the occurrence to the Ministry of Labour within 48 hours.

Ministry of Labour Link: