Employees outside the employer’s premises

Watching out for employees on the road
By Stuart Rudner
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 10/04/2011

Question: What kind of health and safety standards does an employer have to maintain for employees outside the normal workplace, such as those driving company vehicles or going on business trips?

Answer: This is an excellent question, as it provides an opportunity to remind our readers that a “workplace” does not only encompass the office or warehouse. Rather, it encompasses all places where “workers” perform work.

According to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, a workplace “means any land, premises, location or thing at, upon, in or near which a worker works.” If an individual is travelling in a company car, then that company car is their workplace for that period of time. Similarly, when employees attend conferences or meetings, their workplaces include those locations. Employers are strongly advised not to focus solely upon the location they consider to be their “place of business.”