Related Legislation / Regulations

Needle Safety

The Needle Safety Regulation (O.Reg. 474/07) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act was amended in the summer of 2009 to make it apply to additional health care workplaces. This is the third phase of the government’s initiative to better protect health care workers from needlestick injuries.

The regulation mandates the use of safety-engineered needles or needle-less devices to protect health care workers from needlestick injuries. Safety-engineered needles have been designed to eliminate or minimize the risk of needle punctures to the user. Needlestick injuries can transmit serious blood-borne infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis.

Currently, the regulation applies to hospitals, long-term care homes, laboratories, specimen collection centres and psychiatric facilities. As of July 1, 2010, the regulation will also apply to additional workplaces where workers use hollow-bore needles on people for a therapeutic, preventative, palliative, diagnostic or cosmetic purpose, such as:

  • Doctors’ and dentists’ offices, community health centres, family health teams and independent health facilities; and
  • Other workplaces where health related services are provided such as home care services, ambulance services, public health programs, health support services to students in schools, and health care/first-aid services to workers or individuals in industrial and other workplaces.

The regulation will protect more frontline health care workers from needlestick injuries.

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Workplace Violence and Harassment

Everyone should be able to work without fear of violence or harassment in a safe and healthy workplace. Violence and harassment in the workplace are not tolerated in Ontario. Amendments to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (Bill 168) to address workplace violence and harassment take effect on June 15, 2010.

For more information: