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 $500,000 and/or up to a year's imprisonment. Corporations can be fined up to $1.5M. 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 $500,000.
Penalties are current as of August 31, 2022.
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 are 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 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
How WSPS can help
Offering one-on-one guidance and support, our experts will help you every step of the way. From conducting hazard assessments, to delivering personalized training, either on-site or virtually, WSPS can help enhance your specific programs, improve your ROI and remain in legal compliance. To learn more, connect with a consultant.
Sign up for required OHSA training. All workplaces in Ontario that are covered under the OHSA act must ensure workers and supervisors have completed a basic H&S training program:
- Health & Safety Awareness for Ontario Workers (1-hour eCourse)
- Health & Safety Awareness for Ontario Supervisors (1-hour eCourse)
Learn how to navigate the OHS Act and understand the duties of a supervisor.
- Duties & Responsibilities (5-minute video for all workplace parties)
- Safety Health & the Law (1-day instructor led virtual or classroom training)
- Supervisor Responsibilities and Due Diligence (3-4 hour eCourse and half-day virtual or classroom training)
- Supervisor Responsibilities and Due Diligence Refresher (free 10-minute eCourse)
Grow the skills needed to carry out OHSA legal duties.
- Managing Hazards & Risks (3.5 hours virtual or classroom training)
- Workplace Inspections (1 hour awareness eCourse)
- Accident investigations (1 hour awareness eCourse)
- Investigating Accidents & Incidents (1/2 day virtual or classroom training)
- Effective Workplace Inspections (3.5 hours instructor-led)
Get required HSR/JHSC training.
- 1-19 employees must designate and train a health and safety representative
- 20+ employees must establish and train at least one work place health and safety committee in every workplace with 20 or more employees
- 300+ employees must also establish and train at least one policy health and safety committee in every workplace with 300 or more employees.
- Health and Safety Representative (HSR) Training (8 hour self-paced online course). Reimbursement is available for businesses that qualify.
- JHSC Certification Part 1 (3-day instructor led virtual or in-person training) or (self-paced online learning)
- JHSC Certification Part 2 by sector ( visit the JHSC overview page for more information on dates and times)
- JHSC Refresher (1 day instructor led virtual or in person training)
- Green Book (Pocket Ontario OH&S Act and Regulations)
Free downloads & articles
- Duties & Responsibilities: for Employers (fact sheet)
- OHS for Supervisors - Everything You Need to Know (article)
- Understanding Legislation (article)
- Internal Responsibility System (IRS) Primer
- Are your employees getting the right health and safety training? (Federal; article)
- Are your employees getting the right health and safety training? (First Nations Community based workplaces; article)