As employers, small business owners have a legal duty to provide employees with a safe and healthy workplace by taking every reasonable precaution to protect them. Accidents, injuries, and occupational illnesses can be prevented with a comprehensive health and safety policy and program. Health and safety in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility.
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), Ontario employers that regularly employ more than five employees must develop a written occupational health and safety policy and review it at least annually. In addition, an employer must develop and maintain a program to implement the policy.
Health and Safety Policies
The policy statement must clearly set out the company’s commitment to the health and safety of its employees as well as the importance of complying with the law. It must also explain the objectives of the health and safety program and general responsibilities of everyone in the workplace. Finally, the policy must be signed and dated by the company’s highest level of management, with a copy posted in a conspicuous location in the workplace.
Health and Safety Programs
Health and safety programs must outline the responsibilities of all workers, including management, in keeping the workplace safe. The program must make plans for the regular assessment of the workplace, control of hazards, maintenance of personal protective equipment, health and safety training, and the provision of first aid facilities.
When developing a health and safety program, employers should consult with their health and safety representative or joint health and safety committee, as applicable.
Do you need assistance developing a health and safety policy and program?
Every business has unique health and safety concerns that their respective policy must address. Speak with one of our advisors to get advice specifically catered to your industry and receive tailored documentation from our health and safety consultants. We can help you ensure that your workplace policies are in full compliance with Ontario legislation: 1 (833) 247-3652.