The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, or the OHS Act, is one of the primary sources for legislative health and safety information; keep it close by to reference particular sections and requirements. There are also several Regulations specific to certain industries, such as Oil and Gas, or Healthcare. These particular Regulations will not apply at uOttawa; however, may be looked at as a best practice. The most pertinent Regulations that a committee member should be familiar with include the following:
- Regulation 851 – Industrial Establishments
- Regulation 490 – Designated Substances
- Regulation 860 – WHMIS
- Regulation 834 – Critical Injury
- Regulation 858 – University Academics and Teaching Assistants
- Regulation 833 – Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents
- Regulation 632 – Confined Spaces
If you’re not able to find a specific reference for a specific problem or concern, there is a “general duty clause” in section 25(2)(h). The general duty clause means that the employer (uOttawa) must “take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker”. Supervisors also have similar responsibilities.
The hardcopy of the “green book” also features an index at the back of the book. You can search by keywords to find what you’re looking for. You can also look up the OHSA or any Regulation by going to www.e-laws.gov.on.ca.
Try it yourself! Using the OHS Act & Regulations green book or using online resources such as eLaws, find and note the sections referring to:
- The powers of the joint health and safety committee;
- Exercising a work refusal;
- The duties of workers; and
- The definition of a critical injury