We recently blogged about a press release by the Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) indicating a repeal to the Professional Engineers Act to remove section 12(3)(a) – “Industrial Exception.” The removal of the “Industrial Exception” would mean that engineering work on equipment or machinery used to produce end products must be performed by an engineer that is licensed by PEO.

However on June 13, 2013, the Ontario cabinet voted to scrap the proposed repeal. According to Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), the removal of the Industrial Exception would have affected manufacturers negatively through:

  •  Increased costs from new licensing fees, insurance premiums and higher wage rates
  •  Production delays as a result of process re-alignment
  •  Skill shortages due to the inability to leverage existing employee’s skills.

PEO condemns the government stance indicating serious consequences for health and safety. Annette Bergeron, PEO President, states, “We [PEO] are shocked the Ontario government has taken this course of action. This is an important workplace health and safety measure that would close a serious regulatory gap and allow workers, under protection of law, to refuse to do work that they may not be qualified to do.” PEO will continue to monitor workplace accidents, and in coming weeks, will be meeting with Ontario legislature members to share their concerns with the decision. Ontario is the only province to have an “Industrial Exception” and the removal of the section would have put the province in line with national standards.