Policy and Political Action

Policy & Political Action

Submission on MOL DSR Codes

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses (RNs), nurse practitioners (NPs) and nursing students in all settings and roles across Ontario. RNAO's mandate is to speak out on nursing and health issues, including occupational health and we welcome an opportunity to respond to the proposals to amend Ontario Regulation 490/09. This is important to all nurses, especially the many RNs and NPs who practice as occupational health nurses. This invaluable nursing role, often within the context of interdisciplinary teams, is essential for supporting the health and safety of Ontario workers.

A Duty to Protect

Toxics and other hazardous materials present a risk to all Ontarians, but workers are often among the most vulnerable to a range of exposures while on the job, due to their prolonged proximity to toxics and hazardous materials at the point of use and/or release. It is essential that special attention be paid to minimizing workers' exposure to toxics and hazardous materials. As with environmental toxics, the best way to address this issue is to prevent the release of toxics and hazardous materials rather than seek to mitigate the effects post-release. In practice, Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) is the major vehicle to reduce risks to workers from workplace hazards. It is predicated on joint responsibility between employers, workers and government. The OHSA imposes multiple obligations on employers, including a duty to "take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker." The Act and associated regulations also specify a range of standards employers must meet, and the current proposal addresses those standards. However, these standards must deliver the strongest level of protection possible.

Read the full submission below.

RNAO Submission on MOL DSR Codes241.31 KB
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