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Related Post

Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) FAQ: An Employer's Guide

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

What's the OHSA all about?

The OHSA, or the Occupational Health and Safety Act, is Ontario's foundational legislation for ensuring workplace health and safety. Established in 1979 and refined in 1990, the OHSA and the OHSA Employer's Guide lays out the rights and duties of all parties in the workplace, aiming to reduce or prevent workplace injuries and illnesses.

Employees sitting in a classroom, being trained on personal protective equipment

The Ministry of Labour enforces the OHSA, setting the framework for companies to create internal protocols to handle workplace hazards, from dealing with hazardous materials to preventing workplace harassment. It's the guidebook for creating a safe and secure work environment in Ontario.



Does OHSA apply to my business?

OHSA covers almost all workers and workplaces, from contractors to small and medium-sized businesses. But here's a quick breakdown:

  • A worker? Someone who offers work or services for money.

  • A workplace? Any location where a worker, well, works.

  • An employer? If you employ or contract workers, that's you.

  • Some professions might not be under OHSA, but a good rule of thumb is that it covers most places.

What's expected of me as an employer under OHSA?

Great question! As an employer, it's your duty to:

  • Protect your employees by taking all possible precautions.

  • Keep your tools, equipment, and protective gear in top shape.

  • Train your employees, guide them, and ensure their safety.

  • Work with health and safety bodies like Joint Health and Safety Committees.

  • Display a copy of OHSA and ensure you have an updated occupational health and safety policy (for businesses with over five employees).

Tell me more about these Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC).

Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSCs) play a pivotal role in ensuring workplace safety within Ontario's framework of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

  • What are JHSCs?

JHSCs are collaborative entities comprising representatives from both workers and management. Their primary role is to identify potential health and safety issues in the workplace and advocate for improved safety measures.

  • Why are they needed?

The JHSCs are crucial in supporting the Internal Responsibility System, which is based on the idea that everyone in the workplace—both employers and workers—plays a role in ensuring a safe working environment.

  • Composition & Requirements:

    • A workplace with 20 or more employees must have a JHSC.

    • For workplaces with a staff count of 50 or more, the committee member requirement increases to at least four members.

    • The JHSC should have at least two certified members: one representing workers and one representing the management.

  • Key Responsibilities:

    • Identifying Hazards: JHSCs routinely inspect workplaces to identify potential hazards.

    • Investigations: They investigate work refusals, critical injuries, or fatalities.

    • Making Recommendations: After identifying hazards or issues, they provide recommendations to employers about enhancing health and safety.

    • Conducting Meetings: Regular meetings (at least quarterly) are held to discuss health and safety issues and devise solutions.

  • Powers & Rights:

    • JHSCs hold significant authority in ensuring workplace safety. For instance, they can inspect workplaces, investigate incidents, and make recommendations.

    • The OHSA requires employers to cooperate fully with the JHSCs, which means employers must consider and respond to their recommendations.

  • Certification of JHSC members: A certified JHSC member has received specialized training in occupational health and safety. This certification equips them with the knowledge and skills necessary to uphold safety standards in the workplace effectively.

JHSCs act as a bridge between workers and management, ensuring that health and safety concerns are addressed collaboratively and effectively. Their presence and active participation in workplaces significantly minimize risks and provide a safer work environment.


What happens if I don't follow OHSA guidelines?

Here's the deal: Failing to adhere to the OHSA isn't just about facing hefty fines (up to $500,000 for workplaces and a whopping $1,500,000 for corporations). There's also the risk of jail time for serious violations.


Feeling Overwhelmed?

The OHSA can be a bit of a maze. We've got your back if you're scratching your head and wondering if you've missed a step. Let Kore Training guide you. 📞 844-744-KORE.

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Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) FAQ: An Employer's Guide

Workplace

What's the OHSA all about?

The OHSA, or the Occupational Health and Safety Act, is Ontario's foundational legislation for ensuring workplace health and safety. Established in 1979 and refined in 1990, the OHSA and the OHSA Employer's Guide lays out the rights and duties of all parties in the workplace, aiming to reduce or prevent workplace injuries and illnesses.

Employees sitting in a classroom, being trained on personal protective equipment

The Ministry of Labour enforces the OHSA, setting the framework for companies to create internal protocols to handle workplace hazards, from dealing with hazardous materials to preventing workplace harassment. It's the guidebook for creating a safe and secure work environment in Ontario.



Does OHSA apply to my business?

OHSA covers almost all workers and workplaces, from contractors to small and medium-sized businesses. But here's a quick breakdown:

  • A worker? Someone who offers work or services for money.

  • A workplace? Any location where a worker, well, works.

  • An employer? If you employ or contract workers, that's you.

  • Some professions might not be under OHSA, but a good rule of thumb is that it covers most places.

What's expected of me as an employer under OHSA?

Great question! As an employer, it's your duty to:

  • Protect your employees by taking all possible precautions.

  • Keep your tools, equipment, and protective gear in top shape.

  • Train your employees, guide them, and ensure their safety.

  • Work with health and safety bodies like Joint Health and Safety Committees.

  • Display a copy of OHSA and ensure you have an updated occupational health and safety policy (for businesses with over five employees).

Tell me more about these Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC).

Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSCs) play a pivotal role in ensuring workplace safety within Ontario's framework of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

  • What are JHSCs?

JHSCs are collaborative entities comprising representatives from both workers and management. Their primary role is to identify potential health and safety issues in the workplace and advocate for improved safety measures.

  • Why are they needed?

The JHSCs are crucial in supporting the Internal Responsibility System, which is based on the idea that everyone in the workplace—both employers and workers—plays a role in ensuring a safe working environment.

  • Composition & Requirements:

    • A workplace with 20 or more employees must have a JHSC.

    • For workplaces with a staff count of 50 or more, the committee member requirement increases to at least four members.

    • The JHSC should have at least two certified members: one representing workers and one representing the management.

  • Key Responsibilities:

    • Identifying Hazards: JHSCs routinely inspect workplaces to identify potential hazards.

    • Investigations: They investigate work refusals, critical injuries, or fatalities.

    • Making Recommendations: After identifying hazards or issues, they provide recommendations to employers about enhancing health and safety.

    • Conducting Meetings: Regular meetings (at least quarterly) are held to discuss health and safety issues and devise solutions.

  • Powers & Rights:

    • JHSCs hold significant authority in ensuring workplace safety. For instance, they can inspect workplaces, investigate incidents, and make recommendations.

    • The OHSA requires employers to cooperate fully with the JHSCs, which means employers must consider and respond to their recommendations.

  • Certification of JHSC members: A certified JHSC member has received specialized training in occupational health and safety. This certification equips them with the knowledge and skills necessary to uphold safety standards in the workplace effectively.

JHSCs act as a bridge between workers and management, ensuring that health and safety concerns are addressed collaboratively and effectively. Their presence and active participation in workplaces significantly minimize risks and provide a safer work environment.


What happens if I don't follow OHSA guidelines?

Here's the deal: Failing to adhere to the OHSA isn't just about facing hefty fines (up to $500,000 for workplaces and a whopping $1,500,000 for corporations). There's also the risk of jail time for serious violations.


Feeling Overwhelmed?

The OHSA can be a bit of a maze. We've got your back if you're scratching your head and wondering if you've missed a step. Let Kore Training guide you. 📞 844-744-KORE.

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