What is an Ontario Health and Safety Policy?
What is an Ontario Health and Safety Policy? Every year, employers need to have a health and safety manual or program which contains all the essential documents we list below. Within your manual or program are several key items like your health and safety policy page that must be dated and signed by the president, and the workplace violence and harassment policy and procedures. So, does your company have an Ontario Health and Safety Policy yet? Read on to find out how to make one, or contact us to do a full assessment of what your company needs to be compliant, and we can help create these documents for you.
Who should have an Ontario Health and Safety Policy?
Within the Ontario Health and Safety Act are duties of the employer to comply with safety standards to keep their job sites safe. When there are six or more employees, a health and safety policy and workplace violence and harassment policy is required. Employers have the duty to inform their workers of any unsafe work that may be present, and to guard their workers with the ability to keep themselves safe while working amongst these possible dangers. When there are twenty or more employees, then a Joint Health and Safety Committee is required.
Example: An industrial site that services and cleans fuel trucks that is also conducting welding and repairs on these tankers with hot fuel nearby possibly creating an explosion. The explosion may instantly kill all workers on site. This would create an environmental disaster and start a lengthy Ministry of Labour investigation and expensive heart breaking lawsuits!
When a company has a Health and Safety manual and policy and makes every employee read and understand it, that company is closer to being a safe workplace environment. The steps mentioned in the policy ideally will be in place procedurally as well, and available to follow in the event of a disaster. Making emergency contact names available is super important. If anything goes wrong, everyone onsite needs to know how to handle the situation safely. If a disaster happens, and there is no health and safety policy plan to follow, that company may be in trouble with the Ministry for not having a plan present.
Incident Reporting Tip (this is not legal advice -always consult MOL immediately): Report injuries immediately and ask if you should take photographs. Leave the environment as it is and take pictures of the incident and surrounding area immediately. This information helps the Ministry of Labour.
Legal Requirements to Have an Ontario Health and Safety Policy
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, an employer must prepare and review at least once a year a written occupational health and safety policy, and must develop and maintain a program to implement that policy [clause 25(2)(j)].
Do Health and Safety Policies have to be signed and dated in Ontario?
It is needed not only because it proves that you are updating your health and safety policy yearly, it also satisfies section 25 of the OHSA. Please ensure that the workplace Health and Safety policy is signed and dated.
What Should be in a Health and Safety Policy?
The health and safety policy should be clear and understandable by everyone. A policy statement should reflect management’s commitment, support and attitude to the health and safety program for the protection of workers. This statement should be signed by the employer and the highest level of management at the workplace, thus indicating employer and senior management commitment.
If you need help with creating a policy or health and safety program for your company, please give us a call and one of our team members can assist you.
Tip: Make sure all your employees see the health and safety policy, and most importantly make sure they understand it then sign it and date it to acknowledge it!
Need help writing your Ontario Health and Safety Policy?
Call us at 1-(866) 214-0431 or email us today: firstname.lastname@example.org
IMPORTANT: A workplace violence policy and a workplace harassment policy are required of all workplaces covered by Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. Sample policies are available in the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development’s Understand the law on workplace violence and harassment, available from ServiceOntario publications and on the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development internet website.
Workplace Violence and Harassment Policy within Program
In addition to preparing a health and safety policy, the employer must also have a health and safety program in place to implement that policy. Programs will differentiate depending upon the hazards encountered in each particular workplace but generally cover workplace violence and harassment violations and repercussions for breaking the company policy.
**Please note that the above list is not a comprehensive list of program elements. Safety First Consulting can help you and your team develop an Ontario Health and Safety policy that suits your needs. Contact us today about it! Contact the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development Health & Safety Contact Centre any time at 1-877-202-0008 (toll-free).
What is an Ontario Health and Safety Policy Conclusion
An Ontario Health and Safety policy is included within a companies health and safety manual or program. The purpose of it is to keep everyone up to date on the safety of their current job site. Workers must know their rights and responsibilities, have mandatory basic safety training, and must always be made aware of any dangers within their workplace and what to do in the event that something goes wrong. An Ontario Health and Safety program must be updated yearly, and the manual as well as the policy needs to be signed and dated by someone in authority to sign for the company. Remember, contact Safety First Consulting to see if we can help you with creating your Workplace Health and Safety Policy and Company Safety Manual.