The Basic Responsibilities of OH&S Legislation

Across all the jurisdictions and provinces of Canada, the language and broader points of Occupational Health and Safety legislation remain similar. The basic responsibilities of employees, employers, and supervisors are fairly consistent across most workplaces, though the finer points of the legislation and methods of enforcement may vary slightly from one region to the next.

Basic Employer Responsibilities

Supervisors and employees will need to read, process, and apply the information relevant to their own aspects of the law, and employees will likewise need to address other areas of responsibility. Here are some of the key points that will require employer attention.

A joint health and safety committee

Employers will need to establish and maintain a committee to address issues relevant to safety and injury prevention in the workplace, or otherwise compel employees to form and maintain a committee or elect a representative to handle this task.

Take precautions to ensure a safe workplace

Since only employers have the ability and authority to change the nature of the workplace, this task will fall under the employer umbrella of responsibility. This will include, among other examples, installing safety railings, preventing harmful substances from intruding into workspaces, and preventing shop floor accidents, machinery malfunctions, and traffic collisions.

Provide complete and adequate safety training

It will be the responsibility of the employer to provide and pay for safety training sessions and make sure all employees have completed the sessions and understand the content. These sessions will train employees to handle workplace safety emergencies and also use, handle and dispose of hazardous materials properly.

Supply protective equipment

Employers will need to provide all employees with personal safety equipment and protective gear that will be well maintained, inspected, and in good repair. This will include items like hard hats, gloves and protection from heat, cold, and hazardous materials.


Employers will report all injuries, accidents and relevant safety incidents the proper department of the Occupational Health and Safety office. The reporting process must be timely, accurate and complete.

Setting standards

Employers will set and maintain high safety standards by appointing a supervisor who will control specific workplace metrics relevant to safety.

For more on how the responsibilities of OH&S legislation will be distributed and enforced, reach out to the workplace safety and staffing experts at Lift Temp.