I have listed section 25, subsection 2 of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
Section 25, subsection 2, ‘An employer shall’:
a) Provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health and safety of the worker;
b) In a medical emergency for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment, provide, upon request, information in the possession of the employer, including confidential business information, to a legally qualified medical practitioner and to such other persons as may be prescribed;
c) When appointing a supervisor, appoint a competent person;
d) Acquaint a worker, or a person in authority over a worker, with any hazard in the work and in the handling, storage, use, disposal and transport of any article, device, equipment or a biological, chemical or physical agent;
e) Afford assistance and co-operation to a committee and health and safety representative in the carrying out by the committee and the health and safety representative of any of their functions;
f) Only employ in or about a workplace a person who is over such age as may be prescribed;
g) Not knowingly permit a person who is under such age as may be prescribed to be in or about a workplace;
h) Take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker;
i) Post in the workplace, a copy of this ACT and any explanatory material prepared by the Ministry, both in English and the majority language of the workplace, outlining the rights, responsibilities and duties of workers;
j) Prepare and review at least annually a written occupational health and safety policy and develop and maintain a program to implement that policy;
k) Post at a conspicuous location in the workplace a copy of the occupational health and safety policy;
l) Provide to the committee or to a health and safety representative the results of a report respecting occupational health and safety that is in the employer’s possession and, if that report is in writing, a copy of the portions of the report that concern occupational health and safety; and
m) Advise workers of the results of a report referred to in clause (l), and if the report is in writing, make available to them on request copies of the portions of the report that concern occupational health and safety.
I will attempt to give examples for each of the above:
2(a) can be used to imply that training is an integral part of any orientation program as well as ongoing training throughout the worker’s employment. It also implies that an employee MUST be properly supervised and all available information needs to be provided to the employee;
2(b) all available information must be provided to any and all medical practitioners, including confidential business information, for treatment purposes;
2(c) is important to me, since I am a trainer of WSIB Basic Certification. It is obvious that any employer needs to ensure that their supervisors have all the required training to deal competently with all situations. As an example, if an employee needs to have a forklift removed from use because of a suspected defect through the pre-use inspection, then a supervisor, with a ROT (record of training) for forklift operation would better be able to make the right decision and ensure worker safety;
2(d) is covered by the W.H.M.I.S. regulations and T.D.G. (Transportation of Dangerous Goods)
2(e) Any time a company has a JHSC (Joint health and safety committee) or a H&S representative the employer MUST cooperate fully with any information request about health and safety in the workplace. Again, as a certified trainer/instructor in BCT Level 1, the roles and responsibilities of health and safety workers are quite clear. It is the role of the employer to assist any way they can;
2(f) and 2(g) deal with the age of the worker. In Ontario a worker in a logging operation must be at least 16 years of age and only 15 in an industrial establishment and 16 at a construction project, 18 for offshore or on a rig, and window cleaning a worker must be 18. In your own sector please make sure to purchase the appropriate green book for information;
2(h) is a very important line in section 25. It covers a wide range of occupational accidents since it has a broad explanation. Many a company are found guilty under section 25, subsection 2(h);
2(i) infers that a company MUST have a copy of the appropriate ACT and any explanatory material prominently in the workplace. If the workplace is mostly, say Korean, then all materials of explanation must be in English and in Korean;
2(j) and 2(k) refer to the occupational health and safety policy that MUST be created, reviewed annually, and prominently posted in the workplace; and
2(l) and 2(m) make it mandatory that the employer provide any and all information with respect to any reports they have in their possession and to provide that information forthwith.
I hope this better explains the employers’ responsibilities, in general terms, under the ACT. There are other specific requirements, say for ‘Confined Space Entry’, as explained in a previous blog, but section 25 subsection 2, covers almost every type of issue. There is one other piece of information that comes from section 25, subsection 4. It states, “clause 2(j) does NOT apply with respect to a workplace at which five or fewer employees are regularly employed.”
0-5 employees — no health and safety representative
6-19 employees — an elected health and safety representative
20 + employees – a joint and health and safety committee
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
We can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Foundation Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.