Posted Nov 22nd, 2016 in Tips & News


1.     THE LAW - Approximately 6% of the Canadian workforce falls under the OH&S jurisdiction of the federal government. The remaining 94% of Canadian workers fall under the legislation of the provincial or territorial government where they work. Canadian occupational health and safety (OH&S) legislation frames the general rights and responsibilities of employers, supervisors and workers through an Act or statute and related regulations. In addition, each province, territory and the federal government has its own health and safety legislation. In each province or territory, there is an act (typically called the Occupational Health and Safety Act [OHSA] or something similar) which applies to most workplaces in that region. This Act usually applies to all workplaces.

2.     SMALL BUSINESSES ARE RESPONSIBLE - The idea that small businesses are exempt from OH&S laws is wrong. Smaller employers must still follow OHSA laws, rules and regulations that apply to their workplaces. Training for Owners, Managers, Supervisors, Health and Safety Representatives or Joint Health and Safety Committees (determined by the number of employees) outlines the legal requirements for smaller companies.

3.     REQUIRED TRAINING - Training requirements can be industry-specific, workplace-specific and/or hazard-specific. Employers must provide safety training based on exposure to hazards. Exposure, or the likelihood of exposure, is key to determining what precautions are needed and whether training in hazard recognition, safe practices and use of special equipment, e.g. personal protective equipment (PPE) is necessary for the protection of employees. This makes workplace inspections and hazard assessments of all aspects of operations, facilities, equipment, work processes and exposures to potentially dangerous substances, absolutely critical.

4.     EFFECTIVE RECORDKEEPING – the employer must keep records for all safety training provided to workers as proof of abiding by the requirements of the OHSA and regulations. Documentation also provides an MOL inspector the answer to the question “Was the worker trained to do this job?” in the event of an accident. Health and safety training is required for new employee orientation; when current employees or contractors under the control of the company are newly assigned to a job where specific hazards exist; and when the hazards of the job change. Additionally, some types of training require periodic updating.

5.     TRAINING IS AN INVESTMENT - Training is time and money well spent, and employers do see a return on that investment. An effective program of worker health and safety training can result in fewer injuries and illnesses, better morale, and lower insurance premiums.

Get an evaluation of your workplace and get on track with safety and compliance.

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