Hello and thank you for your time,
The JHSC here at Redeemer University College recommended to our senior management team that all employee, staff and faculty, door office windows should remain uncovered so that fire wardens can look in the windows to ensure that all occupants have left the building. Fire wardens do not carry keys to open doors and do not have the time to do so either.
I am wondering if an opinion can be given as to the validity or reasonableness of this request. And, I’m also wondering if there is legislation or common practice that I can use to back up our recommendation.
Do you happen to know about how long a response takes?
Procedurally, in Ontario, the OHS Act requires you to respond in writing to the JHSC’s recommendation within 21 days. In your response, you must include a timetable for implementing the recommendation if you agree with it or the reasons why you disagree with it.
We’re not in a position to give an opinion on whether the recommendation to keep all windows uncovered is reasonable. Only you can make that determination based on all of the circumstances in the workplace. Nor are we aware of any legal requirements or best practices in this area. However, for guidance on how to respond to the recommendation if you do decide to reject it, see “How to Minimize Liability Risks When Rejecting Unreasonable JHSC Recommendations.”