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OHSA Ontario & Employers Responsibilities


Welcome to the Health & Safety Ontario website. Here you'll find a wide range of information and resources that will help you with your health and safety program and to keep you in legal compliance.

What the law says

Ontario's Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA) gives employers responsibility to:

  • Keep a safe and well-maintained workplace; to take all reasonable precautions to protect your workers from illness and/or injury
  • Provide information about the hazards in your workplace, proper safety equipment, training, and competent supervision
  • Post the WSIB's "In Case of Injury at Work" poster and to follow proper procedures in case of injury
  • Post the Occupational Health & Safety Act in your workplace
  • Have worker representation for health and safety-if you have 20+ workers or you deal with a designated substance you must have a joint health and safety committee (JHSC). Construction projects last more than 3 months with 20+ workers must also have a JHSC. Workplaces with more than 5, but less than 20 are required to have a health and safety representative

Your supervisors also have responsibilities in the workplace. These include:

  • Providing a safe workplace and to assign safe work; taking all reasonable precautions to protect your workers from illness and/or injury
  • Informing your workers about job hazards and training them to do their jobs safely
  • Providing supervision to ensure that they work safely and use equipment and protective devices properly where required

What is the business case

Failure to comply with the OHSA could result in fines of up to $25,000 and/or up to a year's imprisonment. Corporations can be fined up to $500,000. Employers are also subject to penalties for failing to report to the WSIB-within 3 days of learning of a workplace injury or illness.

Supervisors who fail to comply with the OHSA are also subject to fines of up to $25,000.

What you can do

  • Understand your legal obligations and comply with them
  • Ensure that procedures and measures for workplace health and safety are established and are always followed
  • Ensure equipment, materials and protective devices required by law or provided and used; this includes guards on machinery
  • Ensure that all hazards, illnesses and injuries are reported immediately
  • Keep your workplace health and safety policies, procedures and programs current
  • Know what the hazards are in your workplace, inform supervisors about the hazards and how to handle them; encourage your workers to report unsafe conditions or hazards to you or your supervisors
  • Respond promptly to all health and safety concerns
  • Demonstrate your commitment to health and safety with your own consistent, safe work practices; lead by example by attending training sessions, and use and wear safety equipment when it's required
  • Provide training to supervisors so that they maintain their competence