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Occupational Health & Safety: What You Need to Know as an Employer


Is Your Business OHSA Compliant?

The Occupational Health and Safety Act was created in 1990 and legislates workplace health and safety in Ontario. The main purpose of the act is to protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job. OHSA is applicable to almost every worker, supervisor, employer and workplace in Ontario.

The government has high maximum penalties for individuals, businesses and/or corporations that are non-compliant with OHSA and its regulations, including:

  • A fine of up to $100,000 for an individual and/or up to 12 months imprisonment;
  • A fine of up to $1,500,000 for a corporation.

In order to avoid penalties, you should ensure that your business is OHSA compliment. Here are some of the basics that you should know.

All workplaces covered by OHSA must put up a health and safety poster, a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and the names and locations of your workplace joint health and safety committee members. Note: a committee is only mandatory for businesses with 20+ employees, or when ordered by Minister, or where a designated substance is in use (no minimum number of employees).

If you regularly employ more than 5 people, you must prepare, maintain and post the following policies every year:

That said, even if you have less than 5 employees, it’s recommended that you develop the policies above because an inspector can order that you become OHSA compliant regardless of your business size. Employers must also ensure that all workers and supervisors complete a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program.

Click here to learn more about OHSA requirements.

Building Your Health and Safety Program

If you find it difficult to keep up with all the mandatory occupational health and safety regulations required by the government, you’re not alone!

WSIB Ontario offers “Building Your Health and Safety Program” training courses for small businesses across Ontario. And, as an incentive, they also offer a one-time 7% rebate on last year’s WSIB premium if you complete the course and necessary work to develop a workplace health and safety program.
The closest training sessions to our area (Selwyn, Douro-Dummer, Trent Lakes, Curve Lake and North Kawartha) are in Oshawa and Cobourg. Click here to see the upcoming dates and times for those locations (May 2019-November 2019).

For more info and to see the complete training schedule, visit and click on Employers > Health and Safety > Incentive Programs > Small Business Health and Safety Programs.

How to sign up for the training courses:

  1. View their training schedule for sessions dates.
  2. Complete the registration form here.

Requirements for the 7% Rebate:

  1. Attend all three in-class training sessions (each session is four hours).
  2. Complete a Self-Evaluation and Health and Safety Action Plan.
  3. Develop an Inspection Procedure and a Return to Work Procedure.

Click here to see if your business qualifies for the rebate.

With new regulations and amendments being made to OHSA, there’s definitely a lot to keep on top of in regards to occupational health and safety.