A PEO representative joined EMC members at Kraus Flooring last week to answer questions about how the repeal of the industrial exception will affect manufacturers.
EMC members joined Marisa Sterling, Industrial Exception Lead, from Professional Engineers Ontario to hear more about the changes to the Professional Engineers Act that will soon require a Professional Engineer to review engineering work associated with machinery or equipment that produces products for the manufacturer for the use in their manufacturing facilities. We learned this is a requirement in all other provinces in Canada
What is engineering work? The Professional Engineers Act defines it as work that requires the application of engineering principles AND concerns the safeguarding of life, health, property, economic interests, the public welfare or the environment AND any act of planning, designing, composing, evaluating, advising, reporting, directing or supervising, or the managing of any such act...
Certainly many of our members found the lack of definition of the term engineering principles confusing.
It was interesting to learn that the legislation was actually changed in 2010 - although many members only heard about it at the beginning of this year. The effective date is this September. Companies can submit a plan to the PEO which will give them an additional year to become compliant. A good thing that may soon become law is that Certified Engineering Technologists and other science program graduates can apply for a Licensed Engineering Technologist (LET) or Limited Licence (LL) designation so it won't be necessary for companies to hire P.Engs..
It seemed like the general consensus was that we will not know the true impact of this change until it makes it's way through the courts in the form of case law which will only occur when something happens. Certainly the Ministry of Labour has expressed that they will not be enforcing anything beyond the Occupational Health & Safety Act and Regulations. Many members expressed that they may just expand their Pre-Start Health and Safety Reviews to include safety impacts that fall outside Section 7.
The PEO has put some tools together to help companies evaluate their level of compliance. You can access these tools at
Marisa's presentation can be found at http://www.peo.on.ca/Committees/RIETF/RIETF.html under Who does this change affect - The repeal explained.
And if you have questions or would like to discuss having the PEO out to your facility you can contact them at consultwithus.on.ca
I would love to have a member present what they went through to achieve compliance - what work are you doing that will be affected? what did the PEO find when they came out to your site? what is the cost impact to your business? Let us know what how you are doing.