Acts, Regulations, Guides and Codes
Guidelines and Codes
Establishes the Legal Authority
- General Principles
Outlines the Legal Rules
- Safety Requirements
- Exposure Limits
Outlines and Details
- Testing Procedures
- Record Keeping
Roles and Responsibilities Under the Law
The purpose of workplace health and safety legislation is to protect you, the worker, against hazards on the job. It outlines the general rights and responsibilities of the employer, the supervisor and the worker. The basic elements are as follows:
- to enforce occupational health and safety legislation
- to conduct workplace inspections
- to make information available
- to promote training, education and research
- to establish and maintain a Health and Safety Committee (HSC), or select at least one health and safety (H&S) representative
- to take every reasonable precaution to ensure safe workplaces
- to train employees about any potential hazards
- to supply personal protective equipment and ensure workers know how to use the equipment safely and properly
- to immediately report all critical injuries
- to the government department responsible for occupational health and safety or compensation
- to train all employees on how to safely use, handle, store and dispose of hazardous substances and handle emergencies
- to work in compliance with the OH&S Act and regulations
- to use personal protective equipment and clothing as directed by the employer
- to report workplace hazards and dangers
Each and every worker in Canada has three rights...
- The Right to Know
- The Right to Participate
- The Right to Refuse Dangerous Work
Read more about these Rights and Responsibilities and make sure you know, understand and exercise them.
Health and Safety Committees
If your workplace has a HSC, there are certain rules that apply. The committee must be made up of one half management and at least one half labour representatives, and must be co-chaired by one management chairperson and one worker chairperson. The employee representatives are elected or selected by the workers or their union. They must also meet as specified in the regulation for your area.
This is what HSCs do:
- act as an advisory body;
- identify hazards and obtain information;
- recommend corrective actions;
- assist in resolving work refusal cases;
- participate in accident investigations and workplace inspections.
You can refuse work if you have reason to believe that the situation is unsafe to either yourself or your co-workers. This is the procedure you should follow:
- You must report to your supervisor that you are refusing to work and state why you believe that the situation is unsafe.
- You, your supervisor, and a HSC member or worker representative will investigate.
- You return to work if the problem is solved.
- If the problem is not resolved, a government health and safety inspector is called.
- Your supervisor may assign you reasonable alternative work
- Inspector investigates and gives a decision.