In this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press, Doug Crozier and Timothy Law of Heifetz Crozier Law explore the responsibilities of both employers and employees when it comes to infectious diseases in their monthly TraveLaw column.
Crozier and Law write:
“Measles and You” doesn’t rhyme quite as well as “Flu and You,” but all of what follows applies equally to measles and to any other potentially infectious disease. Ontario law is cited, but we assume that reasonably similar provisions will apply elsewhere in Canada.
Such diseases are of course not restricted to the travel industry. For example, according to http://www.ontario.ca/health-and-wellness/flu-facts, between 10% and 20% of the province’s population will get the flu each year, and measles seems to be re-appearing in troubling numbers. But the extent of person-to-person contact in this industry, the cross-border (indeed, cross-ocean) nature of the travel, and the sheer numbers of people involved in the travel process make it a petri dish for such easily-transmittable ailments.
It follows that employers and employees in this industry will have a particular interest in what the law has to say about the topic.
Every employer in Ontario is obliged to maintain a safe work-place for its employees and staff. Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (the “OHSA”) imposes on every employer a general duty to “take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”
While often seen as relating to the risks posed by heavy machinery or scaffolding, this obligation applies as well to infectious diseases.
For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press by clicking here.