Bill 179 2005
An Act to reduce
the incidence of
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1. In this Act,
"employer" has the same meaning as in section 1 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act; ("employeur")
"health and safety representative" means a health and safety representative selected under the Occupational Health and Safety Act; ("délégué à la santé et à la sécurité")
"joint health and safety committee" means a joint health and safety committee established under section 9 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act or a similar committee or arrangement, program or system in which workers participate; ("comité mixte sur la santé et la sécurité au travail")
"medical sharp" means a needle device or any non-needle sharp used for withdrawing body fluids, accessing an artery or vein, administering medications or other fluids, or any other use resulting or likely to result in parenteral contact; ("objet médical pointu et tranchant")
"parenteral" means a route of entry that is through the skin or mucous membrane, and includes subcutaneous, intramuscular and intravascular routes of entry; ("parentéral")
"prescribed" means prescribed by regulations made under this Act; ("prescrit")
"safety-engineered medical sharp" means a medical sharp with a built-in safety feature or mechanism that eliminates or minimizes the risk of accidental parenteral contact, as approved by Health Canada; ("objet médical pointu et tranchant de sécurité")
"worker" has the same meaning as in section 1 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. ("travailleur")
2. This Act applies with respect to prescribed workplaces and classes of workplaces.
Duty of employer
3. (1) In any circumstance where a worker is required to use a medical sharp, the employer shall ensure that a safety-engineered medical sharp is provided and used.
(2) Subsection (1) applies when a safety-engineered medical sharp is commercially available and appropriate for the specific task or procedure.
Where more than one type
(3) Where more than one type of safety-engineered medical sharp is commercially available and appropriate for the specific task or procedure, the employer shall select the safety-engineered medical sharp that reduces to the greatest extent possible the likelihood of accidental parenteral contact.
(4) An employer shall consult with the joint health and safety committee or the health and safety representative, if any, for the prescribed workplace before selecting appropriate safety-engineered medical sharps.
Instruction and training
4. (1) An employer shall ensure that any workers who are required to use a medical sharp, or who may otherwise come into accidental parenteral contact with a medical sharp, receive and participate in such instruction and training as may be developed and implemented by the employer.
(2) The instruction and training to be given under subsection (1) shall provide information on,
(a) risks associated with accidental parenteral contact with medical sharps;
(b) safety-engineered medical sharps and their use;
(c) workplace practices to reduce the risk of accidental parenteral contact with medical sharps; and
(d) any other information relevant to the reduction of accidental parenteral contact with medical sharps.
(3) The instruction and training to be given under subsection (1) shall be developed and implemented by the employer in consultation with the joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative, if any, for the prescribed workplace.
(4) An employer shall review, in consultation with the joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative, if any, for the prescribed workplace, the training and instruction provided to a worker and the worker's familiarity with the training and instruction at least annually.
(5) The review described in subsection (4) shall be held more frequently than annually, if,
(a) the employer, on the advice of the joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative, if any, for the prescribed workplace, determines that such reviews are necessary; or
(b) there is a change in circumstances that may affect the health or safety of a worker.
Inspection and enforcement
5. (1) An inspector appointed under the Occupational Health and Safety Act may inspect prescribed workplaces to determine whether this Act is being complied with.
Powers of inspector
(2) For the purpose of subsection (1), an inspector may,
(a) enter a prescribed workplace at any time without warrant or notice;
(b) require any person on the premises being inspected to produce any medical sharps and other things that are relevant to the inspection, including instruction and training materials;
(c) examine all medical sharps and other things that are relevant to the inspection, including instruction and training materials, and make copies if appropriate;
(d) make inquiries of any person who is or was in a prescribed workplace.
Obligation to produce and assist
(3) A person who is required to produce anything under subsection (2) shall, on request by the inspector, produce the thing or things being requested, and provide any assistance that is reasonably required by the inspector, including assistance in testing a medical sharp.
(4) No person shall hinder, obstruct or interfere with an inspector in the execution of the inspector's duties under this section.
Orders by inspectors
6. (1) If an inspector finds that an employer is not complying with section 3 or 4, the inspector may order the employer or a person whom the inspector believes to be in charge of the prescribed workplace to comply with the provision, and may require the order to be carried out immediately or within such period of time as the inspector specifies.
Contents of order
(2) An order made under subsection (1) shall indicate generally the nature of the non-compliance.
No hearing required
(3) An inspector is not required to hold or afford to an employer or another person an opportunity for a hearing before making an order under subsection (1).
Appeal from order of an inspector
(4) An order under subsection (1) may be appealed.
(5) Section 61 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act applies with necessary modifications to an appeal of an order issued under subsection (1).
7. (1) No employer or person acting on behalf of an employer shall, because a worker has acted in accordance with or has sought the enforcement of this Act,
(a) dismiss or threaten to dismiss the worker;
(b) discipline or suspend the worker or threaten to do so;
(c) impose a penalty upon the worker; or
(d) intimidate or coerce the worker.
(2) Subsections 50 (2) to (8) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act apply with necessary modifications when a worker complains that subsection (1) has been contravened.
8. (1) Every employer who fails to comply with section 3 or 4 is guilty of an offence.
(2) Every employer or person acting on behalf of an employer who fails to comply with an order made under subsection 6 (1), or who contravenes subsection 7 (1), is guilty of an offence.
(3) Every person who contravenes subsection 5 (3) or (4) is guilty of an offence.
9. (1) On conviction of an offence under this Act,
(a) an individual is liable to a fine of not more than $25,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than 12 months, or to both;
(b) a corporation is liable to a fine of not more than $500,000.
(2) On a prosecution for a failure to comply with section 3, it shall be a defence for the accused to prove that every precaution reasonable in the circumstances was taken.
Accused liable for acts or neglect of managers, agents, etc.
(3) In a prosecution of an offence under any provision of this Act, any act or neglect on the part of any manager, agent, representative, officer, director or supervisor of the accused, whether a corporation or not, shall be the act or neglect of the accused.
Limitation on prosecutions
(4) No prosecution under this Act shall be instituted more than one year after the last act or default upon which the prosecution is based occurred.
(5) Sections 67 and 68 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act apply with necessary modifications to a proceeding or prosecution under this Act.
Binding on the Crown
10. This Act binds the Crown.
11. (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,
(a) prescribing workplaces and classes of workplaces with respect to which this Act applies;
(b) exempting workplaces and classes of workplaces from the application of this Act.
General or particular
(2) A regulation made under subsection (1) may be general or particular in its application.
12. (1) This section and section 13 come into force on the day this Act receives Royal Assent.
(2) Sections 1 to 11 come into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.
13. The short title of this Act is the Safe Needles Save Lives Act, 2005.
The Bill requires employers in prescribed workplaces to provide for and ensure the use of safety-engineered medical sharps, if commercially available and appropriate, in any circumstance where a worker is required to use a medical sharp.