Mathews Dinsdale lawyers from coast-to-coast recognized in the 2021 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory as leaders in Labour Law, Employment Law, Construction Labour Relations, Occupational Health & Safety Law and Workers’ Compensation Law.
Law Society of Ontario
Osgoode Hall Law School, LL.B.
American Bar Association
Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers (CACE)
Canadian Bar Association
Canadian Labour Law Association
Global Occupational Safety and Health Network
International Organization of Employers
Ontario Bar Association
Women in Occupational Health and Safety Society
Cheryl is a senior partner in our national Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and Workers’ Compensation practice. A former Ontario OHS Prosecutor, Cheryl has over 30 years of experience in advising on strategic and practical approaches for management of workplace safety issues including the complexities of OHS due diligence, contractor management, accident response strategies, and discipline for safety matters. She frequently advises on national and federal OHS programs. She has defended and represented Canadian employers, constructors, senior management, and supervisors in some of the most serious and complex health and safety trials, complaints, inquests and appeals. She provides hard hitting and practical OHS training on due diligence, contractor management and other topics to management and supervisors.
Cheryl led a national OHS practice group as well as an international OHS practice group prior to joining Mathews Dinsdale. She has been repeatedly listed as a leading lawyer in workers’ compensation in Best Lawyers in Canada, and a leading occupational health and safety practitioner in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory. Cheryl also regularly provides practical advice and representation in grievance arbitration and labour board proceedings. She is a frequent speaker at in house training sessions and professional conferences.
Representative experienceDecember 2019
Successfully represented general contractor on all charges under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations relating to a fall through a roof opening. All charges withdrawn without a trial — Counsel: Cheryl A. EdwardsDecember 2019
Successful representation of general contractor on charges under Ontario OHSA arising from worker fall from false work after false work collapsed. Defence of due diligence accepted. All charges withdrawn — Counsel: Cheryl A. EdwardsDecember 2018
Successfully represented metal processing and distribution business on OHSA charges relating to upright metal coil storage. Critical injury to one worker. All charges dismissed after trial. Co-counsel: Jeremy Warning (Charter Application) Matt Craig (Trial)September 2018
Successfully represented installer at construction project on all charges under Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act pertaining to electrical contact by elevated work platform at project. All charges dismissed after trial, successful argument that all charges ought to be dismissed for delay contrary to section 11 (b) of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Counsel at trial: Cheryl EdwardsJanuary 2018
Successfully represented business as lead counsel on complex case arising out of workplace fire and explosion. Fatal injury to one worker and serious injuries to multiple additional workers. All Criminal Code and OHS charges dismissed. Assisted as counsel in Criminal Code matter; acted as lead counsel in OHS matter. Research and assistance: Matt Craig.December 2017
Successfully represented construction business and developer on charges under Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act. Complex case involving collapse of a utility vault and vault cover on a public way, workers on a mobile elevated work platform, question arose regarding of the application of the Ontario OHSA and construction regulations, load and loadbearing capacity. Fatal injury to one worker and serious injuries to second worker. All charges dismissed on a motion for directed verdict by the defence. — Counsel at Trial: Cheryl Edwards – Research and Assistance at Trial: Matt CraigJuly 2014
Successfully represented construction employer and supervisor in charges related to securing of pipe on construction projects and industry standards. All charges dismissed after trial — Counsel at Trial: Cheryl Edwards – Research and Submissions: Jeremy Warning | Click here for full text of decisionMay 2014
Advised federally regulated telecommunications business on OHS aspects of contractor management processes, contract language, reasonable care and due diligence when retaining provincially regulated contractors — Counsel: Cheryl A. Edwards and Dan AttwellMay 2014
Advised and created comprehensive program for national retailer acting as prime or constructor in connection with significant construction project. Advised on contract language, policies and procedures, practical issues — Counsel and Advisors: Cheryl A. Edwards and David MarchioneDecember 2013
Advised and represented airline carrier on multiple OHS claims and work refusal cases, workers’ compensation claims, social media aspects of assertion by airline workers that a particular substance was toxic to their health — Counsel: Cheryl A. EdwardsSeptember 2013
Successfully Represented Superintendent of Mining Operation charged in double fatality before Ontario courts. Succeeded in securing withdrawal of all charges based upon reasonable care and reasonable reliance on mistake of fact defence — Counsel: Cheryl A. EdwardsJuly 2013
Successfully represented Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL) in appeal of an OHS direction by HRSDC dealing with respiratory protection for workers potentially exposed to radiological hazards. Direction would have required replacement of thousands of respirators, re-training of workers over a period of multiple years, and operational changes. Successfully obtained a suspension of the direction, assisted client in retaining leading expert in radiological respiratory hazards and negotiating potential beneficial change to federal legislation with the federal regulator. All directions rescinded after a hearing — Counsel: Cheryl A. Edwards — Link to decision hereDecember 2012
Successful representation of employer and manager of hospital premises on charges under Ontario OHSA arising out of a critical injury at the workplace. All charges withdrawn — Counsel: Cheryl A. EdwardsNovember 2012
Successful representation of national business on charges under Ontario OHSA arising from guarding accident at the workplace. Successful defence based upon erroneous engineering opinion, leading to defence of reasonable reliance on mistaken set of facts — Counsel: Cheryl A. EdwardsNovember 2012
Developed, coordinated and provided strategic advice to North American steel product manufacturer on audit for corporate Safety Steering Committee and Board of Directors on Occupational Health and Safety due diligence measures being taken by corporation — Counsel: Cheryl A. Edwards
Successful representation of engineering firm acting as constructor at construction project, charged under Ontario OHSA along with superintendent, in relation to a worker fall from a scaffold. Defence of due diligence accepted. All charges withdrawn — Counsel: Cheryl A. EdwardsDecember 2011
Developed National Workplace Violence Prevention Policy and Program for Canadian operations of global manufacturer — Counsel: Cheryl A. EdwardsOctober 2011
Successful representation of Corporation, President, Senior Manager on charges arising out of asbestos regulations in Ontario, defence of due diligence accepted — Counsel: Cheryl A. EdwardsSeptember 2011
Successful representation of North American food products manufacturer on Appeal of Ministry of Labour Orders relating to movement of materials within facility. Orders rescinded. Successfully prevented charges under Ontario OHSA — Counsel: Cheryl A. EdwardsDecember 2010
Representation of federally regulated employer on charges under Canada Labour Code arising from double fatality in confined space — Counsel: Cheryl A. EdwardsOctober 2008
Successful representation of general contractor on charges under Ontario OHSA arising from worker fall from the open side of a construction project. Defence of due diligence accepted. All charges withdrawn — Counsel: Cheryl A. EdwardsSeptember 2008
Advised national retailer on development of comprehensive safety standards for all operations nationally pertaining to multiple areas of risk, coordinating advice from all Canadian jurisdictions in which retailer operates — Counsel: Cheryl A. Edwards and Jeremy Warning
Successfully represented general contractor on all charges under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations relating to alleged operation of equipment without a signaller. All charges withdrawn without a trial — Counsel: Cheryl A. Edwards
Industry recognitionBest Lawyers® in Canada
Workers’ Compensation LawCanadian Legal Lexpert Directory
Occupational Health & SafetyCanadian Legal Lexpert Directory
Workers’ Compensation LawChambers and Partners Canada
Employment and Labour Law – OntarioCanadian OH&S Magazine
Readers Choice Award
Cheryl Edwards, along with Julie Weller and other professionals, presented for the Canadian Bar Association.
Cheryl Edwards, along with other professionals, presented for the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) webinar titled Does Safety Trump Privacy?.
Mathews Dinsdale has once again been recognized as a leading law firm in the Chambers Canada 2021 guide for Employment & Labour Law nationwide. Congratulations to our lawyers from coast-to-coast who have been recognized as notable practitioners this year.
21 Mathews Dinsdale lawyers, from coast-to-coast, are recognized as leaders in The Best Lawyers™ in Canada 2021 in the fields of Labour and Employment Law, Education Law, Employee Benefits Law, Immigration Law, Workers’ Compensation Law.
Cheryl Edwards, along with other professionals, presented at the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) webinar titled Does Safety Trump Privacy? June 2020.
Mathews Dinsdale lawyers from coast-to-coast recognized in the 2020 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory as leaders in Labour & Employment Law, Construction Labour Relations, OH&S Law and Workers’ Compensation Law.
Mathews Dinsdale Lawyers from coast-to-coast recognized in Best Lawyers in Canada 2020 as leaders in Labour and Employment Law, Education Law, Employee Benefits Law, Immigration Law, Workers’ Compensation Law.
A recent criminal decision in B.C. imposing a $250,000 fine on an employer for a workplace fatality serves as a caution for employers to be proactive in addressing identified safety concerns in the workplace.Read more
Breaking with Traditional OHS Roles at Construction Projects? Ontario Court of Appeal Expands Potential Risk to Owners, Employers
The decision should be of concern to all “owners” and “employers” as it could significantly expand liabilities under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act on construction projects.Read more
Ontario may be experiencing a second wave of COVID-19. In response the ON government now requires all businesses – regardless of sector – to implement pre-entry screening for all workers attending the workplace.Read more
This Advisor examines the impacts of a serious accident, and provides a roadmap for accident response planning for critical actions to take and mitigating adverse consequences for the Canadian employer.Read more
We focus is on several key OHS related lessons learned and “novel” OHS legal issues arising from the pandemic, which continue to create issues for employers, OHS, HR and management as workplaces continue to reopen with “public health“ measures in place.Read more
You Have a COVID-19 Case! Best Practices for Employers to Manage Reports of Suspected Cases and Outbreaks
Based on our experience to date, available legislation, and public health guidance, we recommend the following step-by-step analysis and process.Read more
Hope for clarification and streamlining of requirements as the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development is receiving submissions for potential changes until March 27, 2020.Read more
A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Justice challenges traditional sentencing model after a Company was convicted of two OHSA offences following a fatal workplace accident.Read more
Potential implications for municipalities and other owners of construction projects.Read more
Ontario’s Action Plan on Sexual Violence and Harassment – OHS and Workplace Implications for EmployersRead more
Articles and PapersJune 6, 2019
Cheryl A. Edwards authored the article “Criminal Prosecutions for OHS Accidents: Are They Advancing Safety?” for Canadian Occupational Safety MagazineNovember 16, 2019
Cheryl A. Edwards, Jeremy Warning, Deanah Shelley authored the article “”Construction Upheaval: Potentially Landscape- Altering OHS Case” for the firm’s OHS & Workers’ Compensation AdvisorMarch 7, 2019
Cheryl A. Edwards and Jeremy Warning authored the article “Safety Failures – Hidden Costs and Consequences” for the March, 2019 issue of Canadian Occupational Safety Magazine