‘Workplace’ definition confirmed for health and safety purposes

Federal Court confirms decision tying obligation to conduct safety inspection to employer’s control over location
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/06/2016

The Federal Court has confirmed that the definition of “workplace” for the purposes of health and safety inspections does not include areas where employees perform their jobs that are outside the employer’s control.

In July 2012, representatives for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers’ local joint health and safety committees (LJHSC) in Burlington, Ont., proposed that inspections of the routes of individual letter carriers be included as part of Canada Post’s workplace hazard prevention program for the Burlington Depot. The LJHSC argued that while letter carriers were delivering mail, public areas in which they ventured were part of the workplace.

Canada Post declined to include public areas as part of the workplace for the purposes of the hazard prevention program, but advised that delivery agents could report hazards on delivery routes to their supervisors.