Supervisors’ Safety Roles and Responsibilities Language for OHS Policy Statement (Ontario Version)

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Introduction: How to Use This Tool

Transforming supervisor accountability from theory to practice begins with an OHS Policy Statement that includes a description of supervisors’ safety-related roles and responsibilities. There are two crucial elements to include: i. A description of what/who a supervisor is; and ii. A list of the supervisor’s basic responsibilities based on the supervisors’ duties section of your province’s OHS Act. Here’s Model Language that you can adapt based on Ontario OHS laws.

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Safety-Related Roles & Responsibilities

All personnel, contractors, and visitors are required to support and will be held accountable for carrying out their responsibilities under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and its various implementing regulations (referred to collectively as “OHS laws”), the ABC Company OHS Program and other applicable laws and standards. Substandard health and safety performance from anyone at any level will not be tolerated. The following stakeholders shall have the following responsibilities.

  1. Employer
  2. Managers
  3. Supervisors

Supervisors, including not just those with the title of supervisor but any individual who control, direct, or are in charge of work operations, are responsible for taking every precaution that is reasonable in the circumstances to protect the health and safety of the workers under their supervision, including but not limited to:

  • Ensuring workers work in compliance with required protective devices, measures and procedures (in accordance with OHSASection 27(1)(a));
  • Ensuring workers use or wear any equipment, protective device or clothing required by ABC Company (in accordance with OHSASection 27(1)(b));
  • Advising workers of any potential or actual health or safety danger known by the supervisor (in accordance with OHSA Section 27(2)(a));
  • Providing workers, when required, with written instructions on any measures and procedures to be taken for the workers’ protection (in accordance with OHSASection 27(2)(b));
  • Taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for a worker’s protection (in accordance with OHSASection (2)(c));
  • For construction work, supervising the work on the project at all times, either personally or by having an assistant who is a competent person do so when the supervisor is unavailable (in accordance with Construction Reg. Sections 14(2) and 15(2));
  • Inspecting or having the supervisor’s assistant inspect, at least once a week, all machinery and equipment, including fire extinguishing equipment, magazines (storage for flammables and explosives), electrical installations, communications systems, sanitation and medical facilities, buildings and other structures, temporary supports and means of access and egress at the project to ensure worker safety;
  • Being knowledgeable about the OHS laws and other laws, regulations and standards applicable to the work they supervise;
  • Holding workers accountable for complying with all OHS laws, the ABC Company OHS Program and other applicable health and safety laws, regulations and standards;
  • Cooperating with government safety officers or other persons carrying out a duty under the OHS laws; and
  • Leading by example by always working safely and in compliance with health and safety rules.