Implementing an Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Program

Get guidance on how to implement and maintain an effective occupational health and safety program.

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Effective occupational health and safety programs have been proven to reduce accidents and illnesses in the workplace. Health and safety is fundamental to an organization's success in all areas. It is not an afterthought — it is about doing things right the first time.

When developing an OH&S program, the first question many organizations ask is “How do we get started?” This manual will help you by providing guidance on how to implement and maintain an effective OH&S program.


This 132-page manual (in 8.5x11 inch format) provides information on how to develop and implement an Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) program. It will help you to:

  • Create an OH&S program, with emphasis on effectiveness, compliance, diligence, and documentation
  • Prevent or reduce hazards and risks to employees, equipment, material and environment by using your workplace hazard assessments
  • Monitor and improve your OH&S program.


This manual provides essential information, sample policies, and checklists for the implementation of an OH&S program. This manual is organized by sections which cover commonly required components of an OH&S program. Use and customize these sections, sample policies, procedures and checklists to create a program specific for your workplace.

NOTE: The information in this publication is based on best practice principles and techniques. The purpose of this manual is to provide guidance, rather than prescribe specific requirements, and is not intended as a legal interpretation of any federal, provincial or territorial legislation.

Target Audience

This manual is recommended for anyone who is committed to providing a healthy and safe workplace. It will assist employers, owners, managers, supervisors, operators - and the organization as a whole - by providing guidance on the development, maintenance, and continual improvement of an OH&S program.

It will also help the organization to:

  • Assign responsibilities and accountabilities for OH&S
  • Decrease workplace fatalities, illnesses and injuries
  • Reduce the impact of incidents/accidents in the workplace
  • Foster a workplace culture of prevention and awareness towards health and safety issues.


The CCOHS Difference

CCOHS publications are unique in that they are developed by subject specialists in the field, and reviewed by representatives from labour, employers and government to ensure the content and approach are unbiased and credible.


Although our publications are protected by copyright, permission for non-commercial reproduction may be provided.

Please use our Copyright Authorization Form to request permission, or contact us for more information.