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Safety Questions and Answers
1.What are the current mandatory postings required for employees by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and the Ministry of Labour?
2.Do the same regulations apply to all workplaces?
3.What is considered to be a medical aid injury?
4.What is the difference between designated and hazardous substances?
5.When is permission required for multi-workplace Joint Health and Safety Committees?
6.Do all employees in Ontario have the legal right to refuse unsafe work?
7.What are the responsibilities of a self-employed person under the Act?
8.Must my staff be trained in First Aid and CPR?
9.Where should I send my staff for Fist Aid Training?
10.Do I have to register with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board?
11.Do my employees have to report work-related injuries to me as their employer?
12.How can a supervisor be compliant with the Act and show due diligence if their employer limits them from making appropriate decisions and follow up?
13.Does the Occupational Health and Safety Act apply to all workplaces?
14.What is the minimum age for summer help in the landscaping trade?
15.Did the minimum fines under the Act increase in the recent past?
16.What year/version of the Act posted in the workplace is still acceptable by the M.O.L?
17.If I hire additional staff and now have 25 employees working for me, do my obligations under the health and safety laws change?
18.What does the M.O.L consider a “serious” accident (besides critical injuries and fatalities)?
19.How often must WHMIS training be implemented to all employees of a workplace and not just reviewed by the Joint Health and Safety Committee?
20.If a car is considered a workplace and an employee is in an accident on their way to see a client are they covered by the Act even though they are not paid by km?
21.Are workers covered by the Act if they slip in their own driveway while leaving their house to go to their clients?
22.What is the “explanatory material prepared by the M.O.L” mentioned in Section 25(2)(I) and what are the issues with this?
23.If the workplace is an old building, can extension cords be used a permanent source for power? Are they alright if new wiring is not doable? What other responsibilities would apply?
24.If my workplace has volunteers, does the employer have any responsibilities in terms of the Act? What if they are inured while driving to the workplace? What if they receive an honorarium?


1.What are the current mandatory postings required for employees by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and the Ministry of Labour?
Every workplace must have the most recent copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act posted as well as having posted a poster form WSIB “In Case of Injury at Work”. If you employ between 6 and 19 employees then you must have posted the name and location of the worker health and safety representative. If you employ more than 19 employees, then you need to post the names of the Joint Health and Safety Committee members. A copy of a Ministry of Labor Inspection Report must also be posted if the M.O.L has recently conducted an inspection in your workplace. Your health and safety policy statement must also be posted and updated yearly with the signature of your most senior person.
2.Do the same regulations apply to all workplaces?
No. Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act there are four main sector regulations: Industrial Establishments, Construction Sites, Mining, and Health Care. Under these regulations, you can find the specific requirements for workplaces in each sector. In addition, there are regulations for WHMIS, Designated Substances and Biological and Chemical regulations.
3.What is considered to be a medical aid injury?
An injury that requires your employee to seek medical attention from a Health Care Practitioner or any Health Care Professional as defined by the Health Care Professionals Act.
4.What is the difference between designated and hazardous substances?
Designated substances are only those 11 chemicals with specific regulations. They are designated substances because they are known for hazards that they can cause in a workplace. As they are designated, more specific controls apply to them. Hazardous chemicals are all other substances known to also have hazards yet their control of use is less prescriptive.
5.When is permission required for multi-workplace Joint Health and Safety Committees?
JHSCs are required at each site employing more than 20 workers unless the employer has applied for a Multisite JHSC agreement to be looked at by the M.O.L. Basically a multi-site agreement is required when the employer does not want to establish a committee at each location which is geographically separate and there are 20 or more employees at each site.

The agreement allows the employer more flexibility and it is easier to manage a committee instead of several for consistency issues and true involvement by all groups
6.Do all employees in Ontario have the legal right to refuse unsafe work?
Most workers in Ontario have the right to refuse any work which they feel will endanger their health or safety. Limited rights to refuse unsafe work are extended to Correctional Officers, Police, Firefighters, Health Care workers. These individuals can not refuse unsafe work if the work is inherent to their job and if their refusal will endanger a member of the public.
7.What are the responsibilities of a self-employed person under the Act?
The Act applies in such that the self employed person must work in a safe manner, have WHMIS training and report critical and fatalities to MOL as well as cooperate with the MOL for inspection and enforcement purposes.
8.Must my staff be trained in First Aid and CPR?
Yes. All workplaces have to have a qualified first aider and a first Aid kit in their workplace.
9.Where should I send my staff for Fist Aid Training?
Your local St. John Ambulance or the Red Cross are the two most frequently used training providers. To meet the legal requirement, the training must be equivalent to St. John Ambulance Standard First Aid.
10.Do I have to register with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board?
If you are an employer employing 1 or more workers, you must register with the WSIB within 10 days of hiring your first employee. Registration is easy. Call the WSIB at 1-800-387-0080 or register online at www.wsib.on.ca
11.Do my employees have to report work-related injuries to me as their employer?
Yes. Employees must report any work related injury to you. You then have 3 days to report any lost time or medical aid injury to the WSIB.
12.How can a supervisor be compliant with the Act and show due diligence if their employer limits them from making appropriate decisions and follow up?
If the supervisor has tried to get appropriate training programs or equipment changes and the employer has said No, document it. They can call the MOL and file an anonymous complaint just like any employee. If an incident occurs, they can also pull out their copies of the documentation to prove their efforts.
13.Does the Occupational Health and Safety Act apply to all workplaces?
Most workplaces in Ontario fall under the jurisdiction of the provincial Occupational Health and Safety Act. Federally regulated workplaces (banks, railway, airlines, etc) are regulated by The Canada Labour Code Part II.
14.What is the minimum age for summer help in the landscaping trade?
15 years of age would cover those using lawn mowers, weed eaters etc. Those using chainsaws or working on sites that are part of a new home or renovation construction site would have the 16 year age minimum apply to them.
15.Did the minimum fines under the Act increase in the recent past?
No. Bill 57 did not change the fine structure under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Corporations are still subject to a maximum fine of $500,000 per charge, individuals are still subject to fines of $25,000 per charge, a jail term of up to 12 months or a combination of both.
16.What year/version of the Act posted in the workplace is still acceptable by the M.O.L?
The Ministry is not that picky on this point. The Act, with the most recent major amendments would be deemed acceptable.
17.If I hire additional staff and now have 25 employees working for me, do my obligations under the health and safety laws change?
If you did not have a Joint Health and Safety Committee before, then yes. Every workplace in Ontario that employs 20 or more workers on a full time or part time basis must have a Joint Health and Safety Committee in place. This committee must also have two certified members on it.
18.What does the M.O.L consider a “serious” accident (besides critical injuries and fatalities)?
Technically only fatalities, critical incidents and occupational illnesses now need to be reported. Prior to the September amendments all Form 7 incidents were to be reported, this is no longer in the Act.
19.How often must WHMIS training be implemented to all employees of a workplace and not just reviewed by the Joint Health and Safety Committee?
WHMIS training must be completed at time of employment and it is recommended that it be reviewed annually with all staff.
20.If a car is considered a workplace and an employee is in an accident on their way to see a client are they covered by the Act even though they are not paid by km?
WSIB Legislation states that if the person is normally required to use their car to conduct work then they are covered as soon as the go into their car to visit a client. If the person only uses the car at times, they are only covered once they have gone to work headquarters and not during this commute. The WSIB looks at each case individually but as a rule, if the person drives and uses the vehicle during their daily activity, the accident would be deemed work related.
21.Are workers covered by the Act if they slip in their own driveway while leaving their house to go to their clients?
Normally work starts once the vehicle leaves the person's driveway, unless the person has a "home as headquarters" arrangement.
22.What is the “explanatory material prepared by the M.O.L” mentioned in Section 25(2)(I) and what are the issues with this?
This is explanatory info on the Act itself. Specifically this allows the extracts poster to be posted in lieu of the Act.
23.If the workplace is an old building, can extension cords be used a permanent source for power? Are they alright if new wiring is not doable? What other responsibilities would apply?
These types of situations are rare. The local electrical utility would have to come in and inspect the building. The MOL defers to them in this area.
24.If my workplace has volunteers, does the employer have any responsibilities in terms of the Act? What if they are inured while driving to the workplace? What if they receive an honorarium?
The Occupational Health and Safety Act only applies in Employment situations, therefore volunteers are not covered, nor are they covered by WSIB legislation. Even in situations where they receive honorariums this interpretation applies. The only exception to this is the Volunteer Fire Fighters and that is by specific regulations.