Each year the Ministry of Labour schedules inspection blitzes and provincial initiatives in specific sectors to protect workers' rights under both the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Employment Standards Act, and enhance employers' awareness of their responsibilities.
Roles and responsibilities
The employer, typically represented by senior management, has the greatest responsibilities with respect to health and safety in the workplace and is responsible for taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker. The employer is responsible for ensuring that the IRS is established, promoted, and that it functions successfully. A strong IRS is an important element of a strong health and safety culture in a workplace. A strong health and safety culture shows respect for the people in the workplace.
Supervisors are responsible for making workers fully aware of the hazards that may be encountered on the job or in the workplace; ensuring that they work safely, responding to any of the hazards brought to their attention, including taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.
Worker responsibilities include: reporting hazards in the workplace; working safely and following safe work practices; using the required personal protective equipment for the job at hand; participating in health and safety programs established for the workplace.
Health and safety representatives/joint health and safety committees
The health and safety representative, or the joint health and safety committee (JHSC) where applicable, contribute to workplace health and safety because of their involvement with health and safety issues, and by assessing the effectiveness of the IRS. More information on the roles of the joint health and safety committee and the health and safety representative can be found in this guide and the Guide for joint health and safety committees and health and safety representatives in the workplace.
If you're unsure if your workers and workplace will be in compliance with the Occupational Health & Safety Act when the inspector pays you a visit, you can download our Continuous Improvement Plan or call us at 905.664.4943 or email us at [email protected]