The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) identifies three primary workplace parties – employer, supervisor and worker – and the duties and responsibilities of each. Discover how this set of interlocking duties combines to form your workplace’s Internal Responsibility System (IRS) and how it is the foundation of a sound safety program.
The OHSA identifies three primary workplace parties and the duties and responsibilities of each. This set of interlocking duties is referred to as the Internal Responsibility System (IRS) and is the foundation of a sound safety program. For the IRS to be effective, all workplace parties must work together to control hazards and prevent injuries and illnesses – everyone has a role to play.
Free Worker and Supervisor Awareness Training is available online through the MOL (see the Duties & Responsibilities Resources menu).
(owner, general manager, commonly recognized ‘boss’)
(manager, team leader, temporary supervisor)
(person paid to perform work or supply a service, including supervisors)
See the Resources section for a copy of the Work Refusal Chart, which outlines the process for managing a work refusal.
Under Section 50 of the OHSA, a worker cannot be threatened or punished for following the laws. For example: reporting a hazard, refusing unsafe work or for cooperating with the MOL during inspections or investigations.
The MOL has the power to issue work orders and tickets, as well as press charges for non-compliance. Contravening the OHSA and/or its regulations can have serious repercussions for both companies and individuals. Convictions can result in fines and jail sentences for anyone who is convicted.
Convictions of an individual could result in up to 12 months in prison.
Note that in some circumstances, one action or failure to act, may represent several contraventions by itself. This means that an individual or corporation could face multiple charges for one incident.
The Employment Standards Act (ESA) sets minimum standards for most workplaces in Ontario. Employers must comply with the ESA for hours of work, minimum wage, vacation time, termination notice and other standards.
Employers must meet the requirements for AODA with respect to policy, training and accessibility plans. For information about AODA standards visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/accessibility-laws
View a Duties & Responsibilities Video (4:49 mins) that provides an overview of the role everyone has to play in ensuring that health and safety requirements are met in the workplace.
Duties & Responsibilities | an overview of the duties and responsibilities of employers, supervisors and workers.
Work Refusal Chart | Information to help employers navigate work refusals made by their workers. Employers are encouraged to use, reproduce, or customize this document / template to meet their health and safety requirements.
Health & Safety Awareness for Supervisors (1.5 Hours) | Get in compliance quickly
Health and Safety Awareness for Ontario Supervisors (English) (1 hour) | This solution explains a supervisor's role and duties regarding health and safety at the workplace.
Health and Safety Awareness for Ontario Workers (English) (1 hour) | Learn about Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), and your rights and responsibilities as a worker.
MOL Health and Safety Awareness Training for Workers and Supervisors
The OHSA requires health and safety awareness training for every worker and supervisor. Learn more about the regulation and requirements.
Oct 04, 2012
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