Workers

Workers

Welcome to the Health & Safety Ontario website.  In Ontario, workplaces are governed by the Occupational Health & Safety Act. Health and safety in Ontario is anchored on the principle of each of us doing our part to keep the workplace free of accidents and illness.

This means that we all have certain rights:

  • the right to know about the hazards we may or do come into contact with and are given the knowledge about how to work with them safely
  • the right to refuse work that we believe is unsafe and could cause harm to ourselves or others and
  • the right to participate in workplace health and safety activities, like the joint health and safety committee.

Along with those rights, come some responsibilities. These include:

  • work safely - don't take risks; you might injure yourself or another worker
  • report unsafe conditions - if you see anything that looks unsafe, tell your supervisor or employer right away; don't wait until someone gets hurt
  • wear the right safety equipment for the job - wear your protective gear and equipment; get trained on how to use it properly
  • ask your employer first - your employer needs to know your concerns and questions about health and safety issues, and to take the necessary measures to avoid injuries

What to do if you're injured at work

  1. If you require first aid, seek it immediately
  2. Tell your employer or supervisor about your injury

Employers must:

  • Arrange and pay for transportation so that the worker can get medical care if required
  • Report the injury to the WSIB within three days if it involves:
    • Health care treatment
    • Time away from work or
    • Lost wages
  • Pay an injured workers wages for the day of the injury

Consulting Services

Consulting Services Awareness Sessions

Consulting Services Awareness Sessions

Awareness sessions are presentations of up to 2 hours in length delivered at your workplace by WSPS consultants. They are designed to help meet your legal duty to provide information about workplace hazards to employees.


General Consulting Services

General Consulting Services

Integrating health and safety into your workplace is good business.  WSPS’ consultants employ a results-based approach to health, safety and environment, focused on building self-reliance,  and enabling your organization to implement, manage and continually improve your health and safety programs.

Occupational Hygiene

Occupational Hygiene

The credentials of our occupational hygienists include Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), recognized worldwide, Registered Occupational Hygienist (ROH), the Canada-wide designation in occupational hygiene, and Professional Engineer (P.Eng).

E-Courses

WHMIS for Workers (English) (1 hour)

WHMIS for Workers (English) (1 hour)

The course familiarizes workers with the system used across Canada to provide safety information about hazardous products in their workplaces.
View Details 
$10.00

WHMIS for Workers (French) (1 hour)

WHMIS for Workers (French) (1 hour)

The course familiarizes workers with the system used across Canada to provide safety information about hazardous products in their workplaces.
View Details 
$10.00

Reference Products

Landscape Ontario Workplace Safety Tailgate Talks for the Landscaping Industry

Landscape Ontario Workplace Safety Tailgate Talks for the Landscaping Industry

This tool provides information on dozens of the most common hazards in the landscaping industry along with best practices for working safely.
View Details 
$20.00

Downloads

Working in the Service or Pick-Up Area

Working in the Service or Pick-Up Area

This guideline identifies the hazards associated with working in a restaurant service pick-up area.  It also provides safe work guidelines that will help you eliminate or reduce the risk.
252 KB pdf

Articles

FAQs about health and safety management systems

FAQs about health and safety management systems

Bill 70, passed in December, instantly caught the attention of Ontario's business community by enabling an accreditation process for companies with a health and safety management system. But how do you know if implementing a management system is right for your business?

Mar 15, 2017
Save time and money: create training videos with your own smartphone

Save time and money: create training videos with your own smartphone

For some employers, a new season means a fresh batch of employees who need orientation training to get them up to speed quickly.

Mar 15, 2017
Help injured workers avoid depression with these 8 suggestions

Help injured workers avoid depression with these 8 suggestions

New research suggests that the first six months after a workplace injury may be critical to an injured worker's ongoing mental health.

Feb 13, 2017
Change-making mental health conversations: 9 tactics for encouraging frank, open talk

Change-making mental health conversations: 9 tactics for encouraging frank, open talk

Ever try talking to someone who doesn't want to listen? You can't force conversation. However, you can create an environment in which positive, solutions-focused conversations occur, whether planned or spontaneous.

Nov 04, 2016
Collaborative robots - 5 ways to help ensure safe operations

Collaborative robots - 5 ways to help ensure safe operations

Collaborative robots are poised to take off in the next few years, says WSPS consultant Robert Vomiero. With built-in safety limits, sensors, and other safety functionality, "cobots" offer exciting benefits: they're able to work more closely with humans, can be cheaper and easier to integrate and maintain, and promise better cycle time and productivity. But this doesn't mean organizations anxious to embrace the new technology can rest easy when it comes to health and safety. Crushing and impact hazards remain, requiring special safety measures and a greater emphasis on certain aspects of your health and safety program.

Sep 08, 2016
How WSPS' Safety Group helps one business send its employees home safe

How WSPS' Safety Group helps one business send its employees home safe

It's a truism that every employer wants their people to arrive home safe at the end of the day. But truisms weren't enough for JSW Manufacturing, a small, family-run metal fabrication company in Bracebridge, Ontario.

Sep 08, 2016
5 steps to banish the stigma of mental illness

5 steps to banish the stigma of mental illness

One in five Canadians is likely to experience a mental illness at some point, yet fear of being judged is a major barrier to seeking treatment - a critical first step in returning to good health.

Jul 05, 2016
2016 young and new worker blitz: 3 essential tips for small business owners and managers

2016 young and new worker blitz: 3 essential tips for small business owners and managers

WSPS consultant Janet Bewers is a pragmatist. She knows that what workplaces need to do and what they're capable of doing right away are often two different things. So, she tailors her message to her audience.

Jun 07, 2016
7 things people need to know when working with robot systems

7 things people need to know when working with robot systems

Robot systems may seem complicated and mysterious, but working safely around them doesn't have to be, says WSPS consultant Robert Vomiero. He offers seven ways for operators to protect themselves while working with a robot system. They're all based on this fundamental principle: robot systems can't work in tandem with us. We have to work in tandem with them.

Jun 07, 2016
Get a fast read on employee stress levels with this online tool

Get a fast read on employee stress levels with this online tool

When employee stress levels start outweighing job satisfaction, it can wreak havoc on a workplace. Don't let that happen. Studies consistently show that taking a positive approach to psychological health and safety can generate measurable improvements in employee engagement, retention levels, productivity, and innovation and creativity. And there's a tool to help you stay on top of it.

May 05, 2016
Partners in Prevention 2016 trade show: breaking solutions for emerging hazards

Partners in Prevention 2016 trade show: breaking solutions for emerging hazards

WSPS' Partners in Prevention 2016 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show stands out as the largest annual event of its kind in Canada, but for trade show visitors what does this really mean? "Walk through our doors and you enter a whole new world of solutions," says WSPS tradeshow and sponsorship specialist Kristina Toomey.

Mar 03, 2016
WHMIS 2015: 4 top training questions from employers

WHMIS 2015: 4 top training questions from employers

Canada's Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) changed on February 11, 2015 to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). This new WHMIS is called "WHMIS 2015" and the original version is now referred to as "WHMIS 1988."

Mar 03, 2016
9 ways to sustain the health and safety - of everyone - during the holiday rush

9 ways to sustain the health and safety - of everyone - during the holiday rush

If retail and hospitality employers get their wish, this holiday season will be hectic and profitable. "For some businesses, particularly small businesses, Christmas makes or breaks their year financially," says Rodola Sibuma, a WSPS key account manager. But with high traffic and demand comes a faster pace and higher volume of work, the introduction of temporary staff into the workplace, and a need to keep extra inventory on hand - all of which can increase the risk of slips, trips, falls, strains and sprains, stress, and more.

Nov 09, 2015
Translating research into real-world applications for your workplace

Translating research into real-world applications for your workplace

WSPS is currently working with system and research partners on two new practical prevention tools that will help companies to address lifting hazards and identify vulnerable workers, says Illia Tchernikov, WSPS Program Lead, OHS Research.

Oct 06, 2015
8 tips on how to be a great supervisor

8 tips on how to be a great supervisor

"Great supervisors mean you have a great culture," says Greg Swan, health and safety officer for Ottawa Community Housing Corporation. Key attributes of great supervisors were the subject of a session Swan led at WSPS' national Partners in Prevention Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show. Here are some highlights.

Aug 06, 2015
BASF Canada's 6-step process for creating a safety culture

BASF Canada's 6-step process for creating a safety culture

As operations manager of BASF Canada's Windsor Paint Plant, Michael Helferty balances multiple management responsibilities all at the same time, but at WSPS' recent Partners in Prevention Health & Safety Conference & Tradeshow in Mississauga, he focused squarely on health and safety. In a fast-paced 90-minute session, Helferty shared a 6-step process for creating and sustaining a health and safety culture that helped BASF's Windsor plant achieve three years without even a recordable incident.

Jul 14, 2015
Engaged staff supports your build of a safety culture

Engaged staff supports your build of a safety culture

"Workers are a source of rich data that can be used for applying controls, correcting unsafe practices, and coaching and training," says WSPS consultant Norm Kramer. The best way to mine the data is to create an environment in which people feel safe speaking up, even when reporting a near miss or worse. Otherwise, you’ll never be able to access their experiences and ideas.

Jun 08, 2015
Managing heat stress: new standard on the way, plus tips for today

Managing heat stress: new standard on the way, plus tips for today

Seasonal heat and humidity is coming, if not here already. We've provided essential tips on how to manage this hazard and links to resources below, but more help is on the horizon. By the end of 2016, employers will have access to a new guideline for protecting workers from a number of extreme conditions, such as high heat and humidity, cold temperatures and severe weather.

Jun 08, 2015
10 tips for safely delivering goods and materials

10 tips for safely delivering goods and materials

"Non-routine work such as making deliveries to new locations can often be high risk," warns Janet Bewers, a WSPS business developer. "Lack of familiarity with the location is just one risk. Other variables include heavy traffic and poor weather conditions."

Apr 08, 2015
New working at heights training requirements may affect you. Follow these 6 steps

New working at heights training requirements may affect you. Follow these 6 steps

If you have people working at heights and performing work covered under the construction regulations, get ready to comply with a new training standard that takes effect April 1. The standard requires that people working at heights on construction projects receive training if they are using travel restraint systems, fall restricting systems, fall arrest systems, safety nets, work belts and safety belts. A companion standard sets out requirements for training providers.

Mar 09, 2015
5 steps to prevent safety-related downtime from eating into your profits

5 steps to prevent safety-related downtime from eating into your profits

Industry estimates suggest that 5% of production capacity is lost each year to unplanned downtime. "This figure is conservative," says WSPS consultant Gord Leffley. While safety-related stoppages are just one type of unplanned event, even minor incidents can slow down or halt production.

Feb 09, 2015
Protective toe overshoe gets its own CSA standard

Protective toe overshoe gets its own CSA standard

You wouldn't wear protective overshoes to a fancy-dress gala, but those big unsightly galoshes that briefly turn a pair of pricey dress shoes into circus attire deserve more respect in safety-conscious workplaces. And they're finally getting it. The protective toe overshoe now has its own Canadian Standards Association standard - CSA Z334. The standard was published on January 1, 2015, and manufacturers have a year to comply.

Feb 09, 2015
Prevent electrical injuries: new CSA Z462 standard and one-day course

Prevent electrical injuries: new CSA Z462 standard and one-day course

If anyone in your workplace may be exposed to electrical hazards, CSA's newly revised standard Z462 - Workplace Electrical Safety can help you upgrade or set up an electrical safety program, "something many workplaces lack even though electrical incidents and injuries are often serious," says Francis Hardy, a senior safety specialist with the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) and a member of the CSA Z462-15 Technical Committee.

Jan 12, 2015
Winter's coming, and so is a slip, trip and fall blitz. Prepare now

Winter's coming, and so is a slip, trip and fall blitz. Prepare now

Twisted ankles, concussions, broken bones - these are just some of the injuries that people sustain after slipping and falling on ice and snow. Many workplaces already have active housekeeping programs aimed at eliminating indoor slips, trips and falls. In the winter months especially, take that program outdoors to further protect employees and visitors.

Dec 03, 2014
New robot safety standard: best practices for a burgeoning productivity tool

New robot safety standard: best practices for a burgeoning productivity tool

CSA Group's new robot and robot systems safety standard, to be released any day now, includes new user-friendly tools to help workplaces conduct risk assessments, build a safe robot system, and quantitatively measure its functional safety. "This latest version of the standard makes risk assessment priority one," says Tom Eastwood, a WSPS machine safeguarding specialist and chair of the technical committee responsible for CSA-Z434 - Industrial Robots and Robot Systems. "Workplaces need to conduct risk assessments for all aspects of the automation cell they're putting together."

Nov 06, 2014
Building safety into your small business: one franchisee's story

Building safety into your small business: one franchisee's story

Jack Walton, owner of five Midas Auto Service and Tires stores in Markham, Newmarket, Oshawa, Richmond Hill, and Scarborough, is an all-in kind of guy. No half measures here.

Oct 09, 2014
Fall machine guarding blitz: 7 tips to help you manage hazards

Fall machine guarding blitz: 7 tips to help you manage hazards

From November 3 to December 14, the Ministry of Labour's Health and Safety Blitz initiative will focus on machine safety in the workplace. "Inspectors will probably apply a straight-forward approach to machine safety," says WSPS machine safety specialist Michael Wilson. "Are there guards in place? Are they, in fact, restricting access to hazardous motion? Are they being properly maintained?"

Sep 05, 2014
All the world's a stage: WSPS's newest advisory committee supports Ontario's creative industry - and others

All the world's a stage: WSPS's newest advisory committee supports Ontario's creative industry - and others

Cineplex Entertainment's national health and safety consultant was bitten early by the theatre bug. Or more precisely, the movie theatre bug. "My uncle used to own a movie theatre," says Jerry Mouchian, "and at the age of 10 or 11 I used to help by splicing film and setting up the projector."

Aug 11, 2014
Hiring temporary workers? 10 steps to protect your workforce and your business

Hiring temporary workers? 10 steps to protect your workforce and your business

Temporary workers may come and go, but protecting them is just as important as protecting your full time staff. At WSPS's recent national Partners in Prevention Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show, representatives of a human resources law firm, a temporary help agency, and a company that hires temporary workers shared best practices on how to keep these workers safe and protect your business from liability.

Aug 11, 2014
Out of sight but not out of mind: 2 lawyers' perspective on employer obligations for travelling workers

Out of sight but not out of mind: 2 lawyers' perspective on employer obligations for travelling workers

Many workers are required to travel as part of their job duties. They may travel for sales trips, service calls, conferences, client meetings, or even accompanying students on a field trip. Unfortunately, workers are sometimes injured while travelling.

Aug 11, 2014
Unleash the potential of your employees to prevent risky behaviour

Unleash the potential of your employees to prevent risky behaviour

Your safe employees may be your best ally in preventing risky behaviour among co-workers who are impervious to traditional injury prevention approaches, suggests research conducted by the Center for Health and Safety Culture at Montana State University's Western Transportation Institute.

Aug 11, 2014
Nail gun safety: how to tame this deadly hazard

Nail gun safety: how to tame this deadly hazard

Nail guns are powerful time savers, but can be as deadly as a weapon. Think about the training and licensing necessary before a person is permitted to purchase and operate a firearm for the purposes of hunting. How much training do we put into ensuring our nail gun operators are competent?

Jul 04, 2014
From WHMIS to GHS: what you need to do

From WHMIS to GHS: what you need to do

Canada's transition from WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) to GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals) inspires both dread and impatience - feelings from "I'm so not looking forward to this," to "Let's just get on with it already."

Jun 05, 2014
Asleep at the controls: preventing injuries and loss by managing fatigue and shiftwork

Asleep at the controls: preventing injuries and loss by managing fatigue and shiftwork

A recent video showing a Chicago subway train riding up an escalator after derailing at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport graphically depicts what can happen when overtired workers fall asleep on the job. Organizational factors may have contributed. Media reports indicate the driver was often assigned erratic schedules as a fill-in in for other employees, and had clocked lots of overtime.

May 09, 2014
Make Mental Health Awareness Week your starting point for a healthier, more productive workplace

Make Mental Health Awareness Week your starting point for a healthier, more productive workplace

Since stigma is often the greatest barrier to seeking or offering help with mental health problems, make May 5-11, the Canadian Mental Health Association's 63rd Mental Health Awareness Week, your first step in promoting stigma-busting conversations at work.

Apr 03, 2014
Medical marijuana and other prescription drugs at work: 9 steps to create a supportive and productive workplace

Medical marijuana and other prescription drugs at work: 9 steps to create a supportive and productive workplace

As of March 31, regulatory changes at Health Canada allow physicians and nurse practitioners to prescribe medical marijuana. No one expects a surge in users, but it's a timely reminder to include prescribed or approved medications in your drug and alcohol policy. Some medications are potentially intoxicating, or may cause nausea, drowsiness or other side effects that could compromise safety and productivity.

Apr 03, 2014
Slates for Sarah: camera assistant's death catalyzes health and safety in the performance industry

Slates for Sarah: camera assistant's death catalyzes health and safety in the performance industry

Sarah Jones had all the traits and more to be a successful camera assistant: organizational skills, communication skills, attention to detail, agility, and speed. Nevertheless, none could help the 27-year-old escape the path of an oncoming train.

Apr 03, 2014
How personal listening devices turn into workplace hazards

How personal listening devices turn into workplace hazards

People wearing personal listening devices (PLDs), such as iPods and other MP3 players, are everywhere - on the bus, walking down the street, ahead of you in line... PLDs are also popular in the workplace, but are users and their co-workers at risk of injury?

Dec 04, 2013
Overdrive is not the only gear: how to curb excessive work hours

Overdrive is not the only gear: how to curb excessive work hours

No car or truck fleet owners would consistently push their vehicles to the limit, so how can we treat ourselves as well as or better than we treat our equipment? Read on to learn more about how overwork affects performance, and how we can prevent overwork while maintaining personal and organizational health and productivity.

Dec 04, 2013
Ministry update: Deadline for health and safety awareness training is July 1, 2014

Ministry update: Deadline for health and safety awareness training is July 1, 2014

Further to an article that appeared in the November issue of Network News, Ontario's Ministry of Labour announced on November 15, 2013 that all workplaces covered under the Occupational Health and Safety Act must ensure that workers and supervisors have completed a basic health and safety awareness training program by July 1, 2014.

Nov 19, 2013
Drug and alcohol testing: case update

Drug and alcohol testing: case update

Two high profile court cases involving random testing of workers for drug and alcohol use have brought renewed attention to an ongoing concern: how to protect worker safety while respecting human rights.

Both cases are ongoing. Learn more about the issue, the cases and the implications of the decisions for workplaces considering drug and alcohol testing.

Mar 20, 2013

Videos

Shiftwork: Effects and Adaptation

Shiftwork: Effects and Adaptation

This video summarizes a Research Exchange presentation, originally held in April 2012 highlighting the effects of shiftwork, including circadian rhythms, consequences of fatigue, health effects and strategies to optimize adaptation to shiftwork. 
Aug 30, 2012