- Reaction score
The Ontario Guidelines are not a comfort. There is a loophole between the terms "should be ..." and "shall be ..." that one can drive a truck through.
At best, these guidelines are suggestions - which is inherent in the term "guidelines" - rather than regulations or requirements which would be within the power of the Ministry to issue. I suspect, and don't know for sure, that things are left a bit loose because these guidelines are produced by the industry and an advisory committee. There is undoubtedly a desire not to fetter the very lucrative movie production industry in Ontario (or Quebec or BC) too much.
There is legislation in Ontario under the Occupational Health and Safety Act which does apply and which is fairly strict and has very broad powers to regulate industry but does not contain this level of detail vis-a-vis this industry or firearms. It does have specific regulations which cover a broad swath of industries but not this one.
How very lawyerly. I expected someone to mention that truck-sized loophole. I started to draft a response to explain why I thought these guidelines valuable and how they could conceivably be applied, but then I discovered that its introduction says it better than I could. The parts of the following extracts that are "bolded" are as per the website, the parts "highlighted" (yellow) are my emphasis.
Learn about the requirements to identify and mitigate health and safety risks in the film and television industry.
The Film and Television Industry is a unique business. It can also presents unique and unusual occupational health and safety hazards to its workers.
This fact was recognized by members of the Industry and the Ministry of Labour who came together on May 11, 1988, for the first meeting of the Section 21 Committee Health and Safety Advisory for the Film and Television Industry.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) sets out the rights and duties of all parties in the workplace. It establishes procedures for dealing with workplace hazards and it provides for enforcement of the law where compliance has not been achieved voluntarily by workplace parties. Each employer/producer, supervisor and worker needs to be familiar with the provisions of the OHSA and the regulations that apply to film and television work environments. All of these workplace parties have responsibilities under the OHSA and the regulations. It is important to note that the OHSA definition of “worker” includes self-employed independent contractors.
In the context of film and television workplaces, inspectors with the Ministry of Labour will apply the requirements of the OHSA and the relevant regulations made under the Act such as Regulation for Industrial Establishments, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) Regulation, and Regulation for Construction Projects. Ministry of Labour inspectors are provided a copy of these Guidelines, but it is important to remember that their responsibility is to apply and enforce the law and they are not bound by or obliged to apply the Guidelines.
. . .
These Guidelines have been prepared by representatives of the industry on the Section 21 Committee Health and Safety Advisory for the Film and Television Industry to assist employers/producers, supervisors and working professionals in determining the ways they may best comply with their obligations under the OHSA and the relevant regulations made under the Act. Following the recommendations and the guidelines does not relieve the workplace parties of their obligations under OHSA. The Committee was assisted by experts in the various skills, hazards and techniques mentioned throughout this document (see Acknowledgements).
The Guidelines recommend realistic procedures to develop methods for identifying potential hazards in our work environments, in order to increase our productivity and to protect those working in the film and television industry. Safe procedures do not involve losing the appearance of risk that can be such a vital quality of the production. These Guidelines are intended to assist people involved in the industry and not replace the laws that are in place. To determine their legal workplace duties and rights, employers/producers, supervisors and working professionals are urged to refer to the actual legislation. The Guidelines will be continually updated and augmented, to deal with the changes in the film and television field as they occur.