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Developing a Health & Safety Policy & Program: The Elements

Do you have a health & safety policy and program in place? Should you?

If your workplace has more than five workers, you must have a written health and safety policy that outlines your commitment to workplace health and safety and ultimately, accident and illness prevention. You must also develop and maintain a program that sets out your plan to back up your policy statement.

Your health and safety policy and program will help with more than just meeting requirements. The benefits include protecting your business and its potential, with positive results in productivity, quality, and above all, the health and safety of your employees.

We have the resources and tools to make developing a healthy and safety policy and program easy. Choose from the options below to discover how to create both your policy and program, and the elements you must include.

Health & Safety Program: Elements

Duties & Responsibilities

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.

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Health & Safety Policy

Workplaces with six or more employees must have a written health and safety policy statement that communications your commitment to providing a healthy and safe workplace, to following applicable laws, as well as supervisors’ and workers’ responsibilities. Learn more about what to include in your health & safety policy and get access to a template that you can customize.

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Posting Requirements

The law specifies certain minimum health and safety information that you must post in the workplace and make available to all employees. Get access to the full list of documents (including legislation, posters, policies, procedures, contact information and more) that you must include to meet your posting requirements.

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Violence & Harassment

Violence or harassment can occur in any work environment, undermining a company's culture, and creating financial losses due to the costs of violence-related injuries, government fines, disrupted work and decreased productivity. Get the details about employers’ requirements when it comes workplace violence and workplace harassment policies and programs.

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Health & Safety Representative & Inspections

If you regularly employ 6-19 employees, then you are required to have a worker health and safety representative (HSR). Learn how an HSR is selected and compensated, as well as how they help to identify workplace hazards and make recommendations to the employer.

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Joint Health & Safety Committee & Inspections

If you regularly employ 20 or more employees, if your organization has a designated substance to which a worker may be exposed, or if the Ministry of Labour has issued an order to have a JHSC, then you are required to have a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC). Learn how a JHSC helps to identify workplace hazards and health and safety recommendations.

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A hazard is something that can potentially cause harm to a worker or damage to property. Find out your responsibilities when it comes to reporting, recognizing, assessing and controlling hazards.

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Training & Orientation

Training is an essential part of a health and safety program. A good training program will provide your workers with the knowledge and skill to work safely. Learn more about who needs training and how to develop your training plan.

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First Aid

Is your workplace prepared to provide injured workers with first aid when they need it? Understand your responsibilities around providing first aid kits (and kit inspections), training, a first aid log, and when to report injuries to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

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Injury Reporting

Whether or not you need to report an injury to the WSIB depends on the severity and nature of the incident. Learn more about the reporting requirements related to workplace injuries or illnesses.

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Return to Work

A return to work program (Work Reintegration) provides an injured worker with suitable and available work, allowing them to recover while performing safe accommodated work. A return to work program can support the worker’s active recovery, keep a valued worker in the workplace, and limit WSIB costs. Learn more about your return to work responsibilities and how to design a return to work program.

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