Employers have overall responsibility for the safety of persons in the workplace.
A lot of the legal duties and responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)
are directed at employers.
Their duties include setting policies and procedures, making sure you are properly trained,
providing health and safety information and making sure safety gear is in place and being used.
Employers have to make sure they hire competent supervisors, set up medical programs where needed,
form and maintain health and safety committees or have health and safety representatives. They
must also post certain pieces of health and safety information in the workplace and more.
The employer has a clear responsibility to make sure you don't get hurt at work.
Here's a sample of the employer's responsibilities aimed at making your work safe.
Employers shall (among other responsibilities):
- make sure that required health and safety training is given to you
- make sure that you have proper safety equipment and are trained to use it safely
- make sure your supervisors and you are aware of any known hazards in the work and that supervisors are competent that is they understand the Occupational Health and Safety Act and are prepared to ensure the work is carried out safely
- take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect you
- in a workplace with more than five workers, have a written health and safety policy and program and post the policy where you can read it
- post the names and work locations of health and safety committee members or the worker representative where you can see them
- post the Act and WSIB In Case of Injury at Work poster where you can read them
- post the latest Ministry of Labour inspection report where you can see it.
|Do you work on a construction site?
If so, you probably work for an employer hired to work on
the construction project. For instance, you might be hired as general labour to help
bricklayers. In that case, you're working for an employer hired by the constructor.
The constructor has overall responsibility for the construction project.
Supervisors are the people who have day-to-day responsibility to ensure the work
gets done and, under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), that it gets done safely.
Under the law, a supervisor is any person with authority over you, in other words, any person
who can direct you (the worker) as to when and how to do a task. Sometimes the supervisor is the same
person you call the boss.
In small companies, the employer may also be the supervisor. In larger organizations, the
supervisor may have different titles, and there may be other layers of supervision with
titles such as "team leader", "group coordinator" or similar terms. If those persons have charge
of the workplace or authority over a worker, they are a supervisor as defined by the OHSA.
Here's a sample of supervisor responsibilities under the OHSA.
Supervisors (the boss) shall (among other responsibilities):
- make sure that you (the worker) follow the law and company safety rules
- make sure that you work safely and use any required safety equipment
- advise you of the existence of potential or actual danger to your health and safety that they are aware of
- take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect you.
Are you a supervisor? If you're left in charge of the "team" to finish off the shift
and close up, you have charge of the workplace. If you decide who gets hired and fired,
you have authority over a worker. If you are the one who decides what tasks people get on
your team and do the training, under the law you might be a supervisor.
|WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A GOOD SUPERVISOR?
A good supervisor should look after workers. For example, a supervisor should be someone who:
- works near or with the worker
- is available if the worker has questions
- provides feedback on how the job is being performed
- is there for hands-on training until the work is performed correctly and safely
- checks regularly to ensure the worker continues to do the work correctly and uses all safety measures and protective devices.