Today, April 28, is a National Day of Mourning across the country for workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness as a result of work related incidents.
For many of us, we spend the majority of our time at work. Five out of seven days a week are spent working. That’s a lot of time and it’s important that we stay safe at work.
Each province has its own health and safety legislation. In Ontario, its called the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
As workers, you should know your rights and duties under OHSA.
Your Rights as a Worker
- Right to participate in identifying and resolving health and safety concerns. OHSA requires a Joint Health and Safety Committee or representatives depending on the number of employees.
- Right to know about hazards. For example, under OHSA, the employer is required to properly identify and provide information about toxic substances.
- Right to refuse work that you believe is dangerous.
- Right to be free from workplace harassment. If you feel that you are being harassed then you can file a complaint under the employer’s workplace harassment policy. Most employers are required by law to have a written complaint process.
Your Duties as a Worker
As per section 28. (1), you should:
- Work in compliance with the provisions OHSA and its regulations;
- Use and wear equipment, protective devices or clothing that the employer requires to be used or worn
- Report to your employer or supervisor the absence of or defect un any equipment or protective device which you are aware and which may endanger you or another worker
- Report to your employer or supervisor any contravention of OHSA or its regulations or the existence of any hazard which you know of
If you are a supervisor in the workplace, you have additional duties and responsibilities and could be held personally liable for not complying with these duties. For more information, see our blog about supervisors and OHSA.
If you are concerned about health and safety at your workplace, or if you have any questions about your rights and duties under OHSA, one of our lawyers would be happy to talk to you. Please contact us at 647-204-8107 or by email at [email protected].
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