Please note the Ministry of Labour’s proposal to consolidate all of the regulatory requirements respecting confined spaces into one regulation, namely O. Reg. 632/05, under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) has been approved. As a result,
• the application section of O. Reg. 632/05 is amended to make this regulation apply to construction projects, health care and residential facilities, industrial establishments, and mines and mining plants;
• the provisions that apply with respect to confined spaces in the four sector-specific regulations are revoked; and,
• important differences between the current confined spaces provisions that apply on construction projects and those that apply for other workplaces have been maintained.
Overall, the intent of these proposed changes is not to decrease worker protections or to significantly affect employer obligations regarding confined spaces. The proposed amendments will come into force July 1, 2011.
The amending regulations are now available in the Source Law section of the e-Laws website. It is expected that the amendments will be consolidated into the e-Laws version of O.Reg. 632/05 by the end of April.
The Ministry of Labour is also in the process of updating its guideline on confined spaces requirements, including developing a table of concordance for stakeholders. Please continue to check the Ministry of Labour’s website and the Government of Ontario e-laws website for more information.