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MOL Ontario Clarifies Definition of Regulation 834: Critical Injury

In January 2017, the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) posted a clarification on the definition of critical injury in Regulation 834 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Clause 1(d) of Regulation 834 stipulates that an injury of a serious nature is a “critical injury” if it involves the fracture of a leg or arm but not a finger or toe.

Clarification on the definition of Regulation 834: Critical Injury

For the purposes of the Act and the Regulations, “critically injured” means an injury of a serious nature that,

(a) places life in jeopardy,
(b) produces unconsciousness,
(c) results in substantial loss of blood,
(d) involves the fracture of a leg or arm but not a finger or toe,
(e) involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot but not a finger or toe,
(f) consists of burns to a major portion of the body, or
(g) causes the loss of sight in an eye.

Fracture

The Ministry of Labour interprets the provision to include a fracture of a wrist, hand, ankle or foot – i.e. any such fracture would constitute a critical injury if it is of a serious nature. While the fracture of a single finger or single toe does not constitute a critical injury, the ministry takes the position that the fracture of more than one finger or more than one toe does constitute a critical injury if it is an injury of a serious nature.

Amputation

Clause 1(e) of Regulation 834 stipulates that an injury of a serious nature is a “critical injury” if it involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot but not a finger or toe. While the amputation of a single finger or single toe does not constitute a critical injury, the ministry takes the position that the amputation of more than one finger or more than one toe does constitute a critical injury if it is an injury of a serious nature.

Reporting injuries and illnesses – duties of employers and others

A critical injury must be reported under section 51 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act if there is a connection between the hazard that gave rise to the injury and worker health and safety.

The MOL notice is intended to provide clarity around the application of clauses (d) and (e) of the critical injury definition. The legal definition of a critical injury set out in Regulation 834 has not changed.