The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) gives you the right to participate in health and
safety decisions in your workplace. Depending on the size of your workplace, you can participate
through a health and safety committee, as a worker health and safety representative or simply by
providing suggestions through your supervisor or worker representative on the committee.
Workplaces with 20 or more workers or where a designated substance regulation applies,
require the employer to form and maintain a health and safety committee.
The committee is made up of management and workers who meet to identify and recommend solutions
to health and safety problems. They make sure that health and safety concerns are brought into
the open and are kept there until they are fixed. One of the committee's important duties is to
do regular inspections of the workplace to identify any health and safety issues.
There are some slightly different requirements for health and safety committees on
construction projects. If you're working in construction, check the legislation and some of the
other resources provided here and ask your supervisor on the site about the health and safety
committee structure in place.
Workplaces with six to 19 workers where there is no health and safety committee required,
and some construction projects, still need a health and safety representative for the workers.
This representative is chosen by the workers and he or she deals with health and safety problems in
the workplace much the same way health and safety committees do.
For all health and safety concerns, talk to your supervisor. Afterwards, you can talk to
your health and safety representative or members of the health and safety committee. Ask
questions and keep asking them until you get answers you understand.