A Guide to Health & Safety in Our Workplace
Updated April 2017
Congratulations on your awarded or tendered contract and activity with the County of Hastings!
Please note that in addition to the documentation required by the County for vendors, it is also required that all vendors must comply with our Corporate Health & Safety policies and procedures and ensure that all employees and subcontractors are in compliance with provincial legislation and regulations, namely the Occupational Health & Safety Act, 1990.
This Health & Safety orientation package is an overview of the Health & Safety policies, programs, and procedures in place with the County of Hastings. Also outlined are some of the relevant legislative responsibilities of various workplace parties to assist you. You should refer to the Occupational Health & Safety Act, 1990 and its Regulations for comprehensive legislative requirements. This document will assist you in fulfilling your obligations and will serve as a safety orientation document. Please make it available to all employees and subcontractors. Any questions or concerns can be directed to the contact information provided below.
The County of Hastings is pleased to be your partner in Health & Safety for the duration of your contract.
Yours in Safety,
Corporate Health, Safety and Wellness
County of Hastings
With questions or concerns, please contact:
Human Resources Advisor, CHSW
613-966-1311, Ext. 3228
Please note that all vendors, contractors and subcontractors must be in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1990 and any related regulation that is relevant to the work or activity your firm has been selected to complete for the County of Hastings.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) came into force on October 1, 1979. The Act provides the basic framework for making Ontario’s workplaces healthy and safe for all parties. Everyone has a role in safety.
- Fosters the internal responsibility system in several ways:
- By requiring a Joint Health and Safety Committee or worker representatives
- By requiring employers to have a Health & Safety Program
- By making officers of a corporation directly responsible for health and safety in the workplace
- Imposes both general and specific duties on all workplace parties to protect and promote health and safety
- Gives workers three basic rights:
- The right to know and receive training about potential hazards in the workplace
- The right to participate in resolving health and safety concerns
- The right to refuse unsafe work without fear of reprisal
- Sets out penalties for contraventions and provides inspectors with broad powers to inspect workplaces, investigate accidents and complaints, and issue orders for compliance.
Regulations Under the Act:
There are a number of regulations under the act that may apply to work conducted by the County of Hastings’ employees, vendors, or contractors. They include but are not limited to:
- O. Reg. 381/15 NOISE
- O. Reg. 297/13 OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY AWARENESS AND TRAINING
- O. Reg. 490/09 DESIGNATED SUBSTANCES
- O. Reg. 474/07 NEEDLE SAFETY
- O. Reg. 632/05 CONFINED SPACES
Regulations Under the Act (CONT’D):
- O. Reg. 278/05 DESIGNATED SUBSTANCE – ASBESTOS ON CONSTRUCTION
PROJECTS AND IN BUILDINGS AND REPAIR OPERATIONS
- O. Reg. 67/93 HEALTH CARE AND RESIDENTIAL FACILITIES
- O. Reg. 213/91 CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
- R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 860 WORKPLACE HAZARDOUS MATERIALS INFORMATION SYSTEM (WHMIS)
- R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 859 WINDOW CLEANING
- R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 856 ROLL-OVER PROTECTIVE STRUCTURES
- R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851 INDUSTRIAL ESTABLISHMENTS
- R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 834 CRITICAL INJURY – DEFINED
- R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 833 CONTROL OF EXPOSURE TO BIOLOGICAL OR CHEMICAL AGENTS
Duties of a Constructor- §23(1):
- A constructor shall ensure, on a project undertaken by the constructor that,
(a) The measures and procedures prescribed by this Act and the regulations are carried out on the project;
(b) Every employer and every worker performing work on the project complies with this Act and the regulations; and
(c) The health and safety of workers on the project is protected.
Notice of Project- §23(2):
- Where so prescribed, a constructor shall, before commencing any work on a project, give to a Director (Ministry of Labour) notice in writing of the project containing such information as may be prescribed.
Employer responsibilities- §25:
- Ensure that the Act and regulations are complied with
- Supervise workers to protect their safety
- Not employ underage workers
- Provide and maintain prescribed personal protective equipment
- Appoint competent persons as supervisors
- Inform a worker or a person with authority over a worker about any hazard in the workplace
- Assist the Joint Health & Safety Committee in carrying out its duties
Employer responsibilities- §25 (Cont’d):
- Prepare and review, at least annually, a written health and safety policy and establish a program to implement it
- Take every precaution reasonable for the protection of the worker
supervisor responsibilities- §27:
- Ensure that the worker complies with the Act and regulations
- Ensure that the required equipment, protective devices, or clothing is used (properly) and/or worn by the worker
- Advise the worker of any health and safety hazards
- Provide written instructions for the workers protection
- Take every precaution necessary for the protection of the worker
Worker Responsibilities- §28
- Work in compliance with the Act and regulations
- Use or wear the equipment, protective devices and/or clothing required by the employer
- Report to their supervisors any and all hazards which they are aware or which are in violation of the Act or regulations
- Report to their supervisors any known violation of the Act or regulations
- Not to remove or make ineffective any protective devices required by the employer or by regulations
- To not use or operate any equipment or work in a way that may endanger themselves or others; to endeavour to participate in the Health & Safety Program and to refuse any and all unsafe work
- To not engage in any prank, feat of strength, unnecessary running, rough or boisterous conduct or horseplay.
In addition to the requirements under the OHSA and provincial regulations, all contractors who submit proposals to complete work required by the County must:
- Be aware of the County’s Health & Safety policies and procedures (please refer to list on page 9)
- Provide satisfactory evidence of past compliance with relevant legislation and regulations (i.e. a Certificate of Clearance demonstrating good standing with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario) as requested
- Perform duties in compliance with relevant legislation
- Work cooperatively with the County to ensure risk to employees, subcontractors, visitors etc. is minimized
- Ensure that employees and subcontractors are properly qualified as required by contract, licensed and appropriately trained for their duties
- Provide and maintain necessary safety equipment for employees; ensure all equipment is satisfactorily maintained
- Submit a copy of their Health & Safety Policy and Program if they employ more than five workers, as required by the OHSA
- Take every reasonable precaution for the protection of the worker
In February 2015, Canada began its transition to the Global Harmonized System model of WHMIS. WHMIS 2015 is a Canada-wide information system created through the collective efforts of industry, labour, and all three levels of government. The purpose of WHMIS is to provide the worker with knowledge for their own protection; this falls under the “Right to Know” element of the OHSA.
The following are changes that both employers and workers should be aware of:
- New requirements for supplier labels include signal words and hazard statements, and standardized precautionary statements. Information for most label elements is standardized.
- Most hazard classes and categories will have a prescribed (standardized) pictogram, signal word, hazard statement and precautionary statements. The pictogram, signal word and hazard statement must be grouped together
- Requirements for workplace labels continue to include the product name (matching the Safety Data Sheet product name), safe-handling precautions and a reference to the Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
- Educate and train employees on the hazards and safe use of products
- Ensure proper labelling of hazardous products
- Prepare workplace labels and SDSs, as necessary
- Provide employees with access to up-to-date SDSs
- Comply with the Safety Act and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations
- Cooperate in receiving instruction, education, and training on WHMIS labels and Safety Data Sheets
- Ensure their own health and safety and that of others in or near the place of employment by
- Checking for a label
- Reading, understanding and following instructions on the label and SDS
- Following the safety procedures when working with hazardous product
- Labelling a new container when a hazardous product is transferred or decanted.
With respect to the issue of injuries, incidents, and accidents in the workplace, all vendors and contractors are responsible for their own employees and equipment. The County requests to be notified and copied on any health and safety issue.
Injury And Incident Reporting:
Awareness regarding incident and accident trends allows for the opportunity to implement measures to prevent or minimize the possibility of those incidents from happening again. In addition to prevention, more serious injuries requiring healthcare treatment or lost time away from work will require the filing of a Form 7 Compensation Claim with the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board. Reporting workplace incidents is a requirement of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1990 and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.
Worker Injury Reporting – Steps:
- Obtain first aid immediately
- Immediately notify your supervisor
- The supervisor will compete the incident report, have you sign it, and provide you with a copy. The supervisor will also provide you with paperwork to be completed by the attending healthcare professional to help your prompt and safe return to work
- The supervisor shall investigate the incident and take preventative actions to prevent a recurrence
Incident and Accident Investigation:
All incidents that cause or had the potential (near-miss) to cause workplace injuries, occupational illnesses and/or property damage should be investigated fully.
Vendors and contractors are expected to have their own staff appropriately trained and equipped to handle First Aid matters in accordance with Regulation 1101, pursuant to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1990 and under §3 of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.
All employees working for a vendor/contractor should:
- Never report to work under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other substances that may impair your ability to complete work safely and endanger the health and safety of yourself and others. No person should be permitted to remain on the premises while under the influence.
- Always give your work the attention it deserves; distractions such as cellular phones can be dangerous
- Never engage in behaviour that is inappropriate for the workplace, such as horseplay, fighting, practical jokes, etc. that could contribute to an unsafe work environment.
- Report any and all unsafe acts and conditions in the workplace directly to your supervisor
- Do not operate any equipment or machinery you know to be in unsafe condition
- Never use machinery, tools, or equipment that is unfamiliar to you without proper training, instruction and authorization. Always use the correct tool for the job and never improvise. If you are unsure of how to proceed, ask your supervisor
- Always wear seatbelts in mobile equipment or vehicles. Operators and passengers must do so as required by law
- Wear and maintain all personal protection equipment (PPE) that are required for specific duties; ensure that any maintenance concerns pertaining to PPEs are immediately reported to your supervisor
- All injuries, no matter how minor, must be reported to a supervisor immediately
- Report any significant allergies or medical conditions that may be encountered at work (such as bee stings) and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself (e.g. Epi-Pen)
- Understand WHMIS and know where SDSs are stored in your workplace
- Only store and handle flammable liquids in approved safety containers. Proper lids and caps must be used on all storage containers
- Do not dispose of any flammable liquids or hazardous materials by pouring them down a sewer or storm drain. Ask your supervisor for instructions on safe and responsible disposal
- Do not attempt to repair defective equipment (such as electrical equipment) without the appropriate qualifications. Notify your supervisor immediately
- Use proper technique when lifting. If you have not received the appropriate training, do not subject yourself to possible injury. Avoid lifting objects that are too heavy. Use mechanical lifting devices or ask for assistance wherever possible.
Below are the Health & Safety Policies and Procedures of the County of Hastings. A copy of each policy and/or procedure is available upon request.
- S1 Occupational Health & Safety
- S2 Personal Protective Equipment
- S3 Workplace Hazardous Material Information System
- S4 Workplace Inspections
- S5 Joint Health & Safety Committees
- S6 Hazardous Situation Reporting
- S7 First Aid Policy
- S8 Blood Borne Pathogen Disposal Policy
- S9 Safety Infraction
- S10 Confined Space Entry Procedure
- S11 Fall Protection Policy
- S12 Ladder Policy
- S14 Bomb Threat and/or Similar Threat Guidelines
- S15 General Guidelines
- S16 Training Procedure
- S17 Accident Incident Reporting and Investigation
- S18 Work Refusal
- S19 Work Stoppage
- S20 Lockdown Policy
- S21 Lockout/Tagout
- HR 22 Violence in the Workplace
- HR 31 Harassment in the Workplace
- HR 55 Ontario Human Rights Code Violation
- HC-G. 1 County Scent Sensitive Workplace Guideline