You are on page 1of 18

OccupationalHealth&SafetyAct

Whatisit?
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) is an act that sets out
guidelines for safety in the workplace and applies to almost everyone working in
Ontario, from employees to supervisors. However, this act does not cover work done
by anyone in a private residence or federal workplaces such as post offices and
banks. OHSA covers everything related to safety, from the right to refuse unsafe
work to duties of employers to keep everyone safe.

Thisacthasatotalof10parts,including:

- Application
- Administration
- Preventioncouncil
- Dutiesofemployersandotherpersons
- Codesofpractise
- Toxicsubstances
- Righttorefusework
- Reprisals
- Notices
- Enforcement
- Offencesandpenalties
- Regulations

Administration
JointHealthandSafetyCommittees
Aworkplacecommitteeconsistsofworkers
andmanagementrepresentatives.Halfofthe
membersmustbeworkersemployedattheworkplaceanddoesnotsharetheduties
ofamanager.Thiscommitteehasthepowertomonitorhealthandsafetyatthe
workplace,identifyinghazardsattheworkplace,andrecommendinghealthand
safetyimprovementswhenrequired.

Thecommitteeisauthorizedtohavemeetingsattheirworkplaceandconduct
regularinspectionsattheworkplace.Aswellashandingtheemployerwritten
recommendationstomakeimprovementstocreateasaferworkplace.

Functionsare:

Identifyworkplacehazards
Obtaininformationfromanemployer
Beconsultedaboutworkplacetesting
Makerecommendationstoemployer
Investigateworkrefusals
Investigatecriticalorfatalinjuries
ObtainInformationfromtheWorkplace
SafetyandInsuranceBoard

Employer'sDutytoCo-operatewiththeCommittee
Undertheactemployersareresponsibletocooperatewithandhelpthejoint
healthandsafetycommitteetocarryoutitsfunctions.Theyarerequiredto:

Provideinformationthatthecommitteeneedsfromtheemployer.

Respondtothecommitteesrecommendationsinwriting.

GivethecommitteecopiesofallwrittenreportsissuedbytheMinisterof
Labour.

Reportanyworkplacedeaths,injuries,andillnessestothecommittee.
Inaddition,employersmustprovidenoticestothecommitteerelatedtodeath
andinjury,accident,explosion,fires,orviolencecausinginjuries,illnesses,and
accidentsonprojectsites.Theemployermustgivethecommitteeanythingrelated
concerningaboutoccupationalhealthandsafetyinawrittenreport.

DutiesofStaff
Employers
Thedutyoftheemployeristomakesureallequipmentandprotective
devices,includingguardsandclothing,areproperlyworkingandinplace.The
employerisalsoinchargeofmakingsuresaidequipmentandmaterialsareused
properlyandsafely.

Supervisor

Thedutyofthesupervisor is to make sure each employee is complying with


all proper health and safety practices, including using proper guards and equipment,
as well as informing them of any possible dangers they may face that the supervisor
or employer is aware of.

Worker
Thedutyofworkersistoworkincompliancewiththehealthandsafety
conditionsoftheOHSAandcompanystandards.Theyarealsorequiredtoinformthe
employerorsupervisorifsafetyequipmentofanykindismalfunctioningormissing,
orifthereissomethingthatwouldcauseharm.

ToxicSubstances
Toxicsubstancesreferstobiological,chemical,andphysicalagents,astheir
useinaworkplacemayendangerthehealthandsafetyofworkersoremployees.

TherearetwomainpurposestothissectionoftheOHSAthatdealswithtoxic
substancesarearetoensurethatworkersexposuretotoxic
substancesiscontrolledandtoensurethattoxicsubstances
intheworkplaceareclearlyidentifiedandthatworkersreceive
enoughinformationtohandleitsafely

TheControlofToxicSubstances
TheActenablestheLieutenantGovernorin
Council(LGIC)toprescribeatoxicsubstanceas
adesignatedsubstance,andtoprohibit,regulate,restrict,limitor
controlitsuse,handlingandremovalinregulatedworkplaces.

Typicallyreservedforsubstancesknowntobeparticularlyhazardous
toworkers.Substancesincludingasbestos,lead,mercuryandarsenic.

Theregulationprescribesthemaximumlimitsa
designatedsubstancecanaworkerbeexposedto,ina
timeofperiodthattheycancontrolandassessthe
substance.

Section33order:Thisactallowsthedirectorofthe
MinistryofLabortoissueanordertoanemployerto
restricttheuseofatoxicsubstance.

TheRighttoKnowAboutHazardousMaterials:
Thisactgiveworkerstherightstoknowabouthazardousmaterial
usedintheworkplace.

Hazardousmaterialsaredefinedasasbiologicalorchemicalagents,
whicharenamedordescribedinregulation.

Allemployees,/workers/employersmustknowthedetailrequirements
establishedintheWorkplaceHazardousMaterialInformationSystem
(WHMIS).

WHMIS
WHMISstandsforWorkplaceHazardousMaterialsInformationSystem.Itis
designedtoensurethesafetyofemployersandemployeeswhileattheworkplace.
Inparticular,thesystemwasdesignedtokeepworkersandemployersinformedof
thedangersandhazardsassociatedwiththechemicalsandsubstancesthatthey
maycomeintocontactwithwhileonthejob.ThekeyelementsofWHMISand
WHMIStrainingarelabelingofcontainers,theprovisionoftheMaterialSafetyData
Sheet(MSDS)andworkereducation/trainingprograms.

WHMIStrainingislegallyrequiredforallemployeeswhoareexposedorlikely
tobeexposedtoahazardousmaterialorcontrolledproductattheworkplace.the
employermustensurethathisorherstaffisproperlytrained.Theresponsibilityto
ensureworkersaretrainedandthemannerinwhichtrainingisconductedrestswith
theemployer.

Employer'sResponsibilities:
Employershavethedutyto:
Identifyhazardousmaterialina
prescribedmanner.

Obtainorpreparematerial
safetydatasheet.

Toprovideinformationandprescribeinstructionstrainingthe
workerswhoareexposedorlikelytobeexposedtohazardous
materialsand;

Toensurethattheworkersparticipateinsuchtraining.

Employersarerequiredtoensurethathazardousmaterialsarehandled,used
orstoredataworkplaceunlessinstructedto.Aswellastoensureworkerstrainings
andinstructionsarecompletedandtonotifytheDirector.

TrainingWorkers:
Employersarefurtherrequiredtoensure
thatworkersparticipateinanyprescribed
instruction/training.Inadditionthegeneraldutyof
theemployeristoprovideinformation,instruction
andsupervisiontoworkerstoprotecttheirhealth
andsafety.

Theprogramofworkereducationisdevelopedandappliedfortheemployers
workplaceandisrelatedtoanyothertraining,instructionandpreventionprograms
attheworkplace.Alsoitisreasonablypracticable,thattheprogramofworkerare
abletousetheinformationtoprotecttheirhealthandsafety.

Informationaboutwhichtheemployeroughttobeawareincludes:
Publicationsandcomputerizedinformationavailablefromthe
CanadianCentreforOccupationalHealthandSafety.

Publicationsavailablefromindustryortradeassociationsofwhichthe
employerisamemberandfromlabourorganization(s)representing
workersattheworkplace,and;

PublicationsfromtheOntarioMinistryofLabour.

Theworkereducationprogrammustcoverthefollowingsixareas:
Labelstheinformationrequired,thepurposeandthesignificanceof
theinformation.

Modesofidentificationwhenusedattheworkplaceinsteadoflabels.

MSDSstheinformationrequired,thepurposeandsignificanceofthe
information.

Proceduresforthesafeuse,storage,handlinganddisposalofa
controlledproduct,includingacontrolledproductinapipingsystemor
vessel.

Procedurestobefollowedwherefugitiveemissionsarepresent,and;

Procedurestobefollowedincaseofanemergencyinvolvinga
controlledproduct.

RighttoRefuseUnsafeWork
Section43(3)statesthatallworkersinOntariohavetherighttorefuseworkif
theydeemittobeunsafe.Inthesesituations,thesupervisororemployerwouldbring
intheproperpersonnel.Reasontorefuseworkincludebutisnotlimitedto:

- Machineswithoutproperguards.
- Usingaladdertoreachhighupobject.
- Operatingmachinerywithoutpropertraining,suchasaforklift.
- Cleaningaspillofsomesortthatcouldcausesicknessorharm.

However,section43(1)(2)statesthatcertainworkersmaynotrefuseunsafework,
andincludes:

- Policeorcorrectionalofficers.
- Firefighters,paramedicsoranyotheremergencypersonnel.
- Hospitalormentalinstitutionworker.
- Anyprofessionthatistaskedwithprotectingorhelpingothersinemergencies
orinemergencyfacilities.

Reprisals

Employers:
Section50,subsection1oftheOHSAclearlystates
thatemployerscannotfire,suspend,intimidate,punish,or
threatentodoanyoftheabovetoaworkerbecausethe
workerhasdecidedtofollowtheOHSA,askedtheemployerto
followtheOHSAorhasusetherighttorefuseworkdueto
unsafeconditions.Inaddition,aworkercannotbepunished
forprovidinginformationforMinistryofLabourinspector,followingtheirinstructions
ortestifyingatahearingaboutanissueregardingtheregulationofthehealthand
safetyactintheworkplace.

Employees:
Asaworker,ifyoufeelthatyouhavebeenavictimtoareprisalforfollowing
therules,youmayfileacomplaintwiththeOntarioLabourRelationsBoard(OLRB).If
youhavebeenfired,aninspectorcanreferthisreprisalallegationtotheOLRBwith
yourconsentonlyifyouhavefulfilledthefollowingtwoconditions:

1. Thematterhasntbeenresolvedbyarbitration.
a. Arbitrationoccurswhenaworkerconfrontstheemployerthatthey
haveviolatedsection50.1oftheOHSAandresolvesthematter
throughamutual,bindingsettlement.

2. TheworkerhasntfiledacomplainttotheOLRB.
OncethereprisalallegationhasreachedtheOLRB,theOLRBwilltrytohelp
thepartiesreachasettlement.Ifa
settlementcannotbereached,ahearing
willbeheldwhereitisuptotheemployer
toprovideevidencethattheydidnot
violatetheact.

OffencesandPenalties

*Thetrialwillbethedefendantv.theMinistryofLabourandtakeplaceinanOntarioCourtof
Justice.

EmpowerYourself!
Learnaboutyourworkplacerightsguaranteedinthe
OntarioEmploymentStandardsAct.

MinimumWageandOvertimePay

MinimumWageRate RatesfromOctober1,2016to Ratesasof


September30,2017 October1,2017

GeneralMinimumWage $11.40 $11.60

Perhour Perhour

OvertimePay $17.01 $17.04

(Foreachhourworkedover Perhour Perhour


44inaweek)

StudentMinimumWage $10.70 $10.90

(Onlyappliestoindividuals Perhour Perhour


undertheageof18

OvertimePay $16.05 $16.35


(Foreachhourworkedover
44inaweek) Perhour Perhour

PublicHolidays

Ontariohasninepublicholidays.NewYear'sDay,
FamilyDay,GoodFriday,VictoriaDay,CanadaDay,
LabourDay,ThanksgivingDay,ChristmasDay,and
BoxingDay.

Mostemployeescantakethesedaysoffworkandbe
paidpublicholidaypay.

HoursOfWork

TheDailyLimit:

Themaximumnumberofhoursmostemployeescanberequiredtoworkina
dayiseighthours.Theonlywayforittobelongerthan8hoursisbyawritten
agreementbetweentheemployeeandemployer.

WeeklyLimit:

Themaximumnumberofhoursmostemployeescanberequiredtoworkina
weekis48hours.Theonlywayforittobelongerthan48hoursisbyawritten
agreementbetweentheemployeeandemployer.

EatingPeriodsandBreaks

Anemployeemustnotworkformorethanfivehours
inarowwithoutgettinga30-minuteeatingperiod
freefromwork.Thiseatingperiodcanbesplitinto
twoperiods.Togethertheymusttotalatleast30
minutes.

Mealbreaksareusuallyunpaidalthoughinsome
cases,youcouldgetpaidduringbreaks.Meal
breaks,whetherpaidorunpaid,arenotconsideredhoursofwork,andare
notcountedtowardovertime.

Vacation

Employeescantakeuptotwoweeksofvacationtimeeachyearstarting
fromthedatetheyarehired.Theyareentitledtovacationpayof4percent
ofregularwagesearnedinthelastyear.Soifyougotpaid$10000thelast
year,youwouldbepaid$400.However,paycanworkouttobemorethan
just4percentofbasepay.

PersonalEmergencyLeave

Someemployeeshavetherighttotakeupto
10daysofunpaidjob-protectedeachyear
duetoillness,injuryandotheremergencies
andurgentmatters.

KnowYourRights!

UseYourRights!

EmploymentStandardsActPamphlet.

Mostemployeesareentitledtoupto10daysunpaidjob
protectedworkeachcalendaryearforthefollowingreasons;
personalmedicalemergency,medicalemergencyoffamily
members(spouse,parent,sibling,childorarelativewhois
dependantonyourcare.

PregnancyLeave-Pregnantemployeesleaveforupto17weeks
unpaid.Qualificationsforpregnancyleavearebeingemployed
byanemployercoveredbyESAandthattheemployedstarted
herworkatleast13weekspriortothebabiesplannedbirth.
Employeeshavetherighttocontinuetoearncreditforlengthof
service,lengthofemploymentandseniority.Employeesmustbe
givenbacktheiroldjobafterpregnancyleaveandcannotbe
penalizedforbeingeligibletoleave.
OvertimePayment-

-Overtimepaymentstartsonthe44thhourworked-Timepaidwill
betimeandahalf-Hourswouldbemeasuredbyweekly-Some
jobsdonothaveovertimepayandthatitexpectedMinimum
Wage-Anje-Theminimumamounteachemployeeshouldbe
paidhourlydoesdependonthejob-Generalminimumwage:$
11.60-Studentminimumwage:$10.90-Liquorserversminimum
wage:$10.10-Huntingandfishguidingminimumwage(Lessthan
5consecutivehoursinday):$58.00-Huntingandfishguiding
minimumwage(Working5ormorehoursinadaywhetherornot
theyareconsecutive):$116.00-Homeworkerswage:$12.80
VacationwithPay-Anje-Everyemployeewhohasworkedforat
least12monthsisentitledtotwoweeksvacationWITHPAY-
Employeewillbepaid4%oftimeworkedwithinthose12months

WorkingHours-

Theemployermustnotexceed8hoursinoneworkingdayor48
hoursononeworkweek,althoughtheemployeecanagreeto
workmorethanthisiftheychooseto.Theemployeecanrevoke
thisagreementwith2weeksofnotice.EatingPeriods(Breaks)-

Anemployeemustnotworka5hourperiodwithouta30minute
eatingperiod.Thiseatingperioddoesnothavetobepaid,and
canbeswappedoutfora15minutepaideatingperiod.Public
Holidays-CamOnpublicholidays,yougetpublicholidaypayand
timeandahalfifyouwork.Publicholidaypayisallofthemoney
youearnedandvacationpayworkinginthelast4weeksbefore
theholidaydividedby20.Ifyouworkonapublicholiday,certain
employersarerequiredtopayyouyournormalhourlywagetime
1.5x.Termination/SeveranceofEmployment-

Firstoff,theemployeemustgivenoticetotheemployerifthey
aretobeterminated.Theonlywayyoucanautomatically
terminateanemployeeisif:Youcannotemploythem
anymore,Theemployerdismissestheemployeeandthe
employeeresignstheiremployment,Theemployerexceedsthe
presetlayofftime