The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) imposes numerous duties and responsibilities on employers. Here are seven such duties:
- Every employer must post a copy of the OHSA, and a written health & safety policy.
- In workplaces with six more employees,there must generally be a health & safety representative, and at workplaces with 20 of more employees there must generally be a joint health & safety committee.
- In workplaces with six or more employees, the employer must generally post a workplace harassment policy and a workplace violence policy and review it annually.
- Employers in workplaces with hazardous materials are required to identify those materials, ensure that proper data sheets on the materials are readily available and containers are properly labelled, and to make sure that employees are properly trained in handling and use of the materials.
- An employer must investigate an employee work refusal.
- The OHSA imposes numerous specific duties on employers including the following requirements: instruct, inform and supervise workers to protect their health and safety; appoint competent persons as supervisors; inform a worker or a person in authority over a worker, about any hazard in the work; and, take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.
- An employer is required to co-operate with a Ministry of Labour inspector.
A violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act can result in a fine of up to $ 500 000 for corporations, and a fine of up to $ 25 000 and/or imprisonment for up to 12 months for individuals.
To download a copy of our Workplace Audit: 20 Areas to Consider which includes a number of health an safety questions, please visit our Home Page.
If you would like to discuss your organization’s rights duties and obligations under Ontario’s Occupational Health & Safety Act, please contact us at [email protected] or 416 977-9894 at your convenience.
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