What OHS Policy Must Include
The OHS laws of most jurisdictions require employers to establish what’s called an OHS policy. Here’s what each province requires (and recommends government guidelines) that an OHS policy include:
FEDERAL: A statement of employer’s general policy concerning the health and safety at work of employees [Canada Labour Code, Sec. 125(d)(ii), http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/showdoc/cs/L-2/bo-ga:l_II-gb:s_124/20090616 ].
ALBERTA: The company’s policy of protecting the health and safety of workers at the site and arrangements to implement the policy [OHS Act, Sec. 32, www.qp.alberta.ca/574.cfm?page=O02.cfm&leg_type=Acts&isbncln=0779749200 ].
BRITISH COLUMBIA: The employer’s general health and safety aims and description of the health and safety-related responsibilities of the employer, supervisors and workers
[OHS Reg., Sec. 3.3(a), http://www2.worksafebc.com/publications/OHSRegulation/Part3.asp
MANITOBA: A statement of the employer’s policy on the protection of the safety and health of workers at the workplace and a statement of the responsibilities of the employer, supervisors and workers [Workplace Health & Safety Act, Sec. 7.4(5), http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/w210e.php ].
NEW BRUNSWICK: A statement of the employer’s commitment to health and safety and OHS objectives and a definition of the safety roles and responsibilities of the employer, supervisors and workers [Govt. Guidelines on Effective Safety Programs, http://www.worksafenb.ca/522top6b_e.htm ].
NEWFOUNDLAND/LABRADOR: A statement of the employer’s commitment to safety including its commitment to cooperate with the occupational health and safety committee and workers in the workplace in carrying out their collective responsibility for occupational health and safety and statement of the respective responsibilities of the employer, supervisors, the occupational health and safety committee and workers in carrying out their collective responsibility for occupational health and safety [OHS Regs., Secs. 4(1)(a) and (b), www.assembly.nl.ca/legislation/sr/regulations/rc961165.htm ].
NORTHWEST TERRITORIES/NUNAVUT: The employer’s commitment to a health and safety philosophy, the company’s health and safety goals and objectives, management’s commitment to maintain a safe and healthy workplace and comply with all laws and regulations [Guidelines for Developing Effective Health & Safety Policies, www.wcb.nt.ca/publications/GuidelinesDeveloping.pdf ].
NOVA SCOTIA: The employer’s commitment to occupational health and safety, reasons for the employer’s commitment, employer’s commitment to co-operate with employees in pursuing occupational health and safety and the responsibilities of employer, supervisors and other employees in fulfilling the employer’s commitment to health and safety
[OHS Act, Sec. 27(3), http://gov.ns.ca/legislature/legc/ ].
ONTARIO: OHS laws require OHS policy but don`t specify what it should say. MOL Guidelines say that it should reflect management’s commitment, support and attitude to the health and safety program for the protection of workers.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND: The employer’s commitment to health and safety, including commitment to cooperate with workers in pursuing health and safety and a statement of the safety responsibilities of employers and other workers [OHS Act, Sec. 24(4) , www.gov.pe.ca/law/statutes/pdf/o-01_01.pdf ].
QUÉBEC: OHS laws don’t specifically require OHS policies.
SASKATCHEWAN: A statement of the employer’s policy with respect to the health and safety of workers and of the safety responsibilities of the employer, supervisors and workers [OHS Reg., Secs. 22(1)(a) and (c), www.qp.gov.sk.ca/documents/English/Regulations/Regulations/O1-1R1.pdf ]. Govt. guidelines recommend that OHS policy state organization’s health and safety philosophy and management’s commitment to prevent accidents and occupational illnesses; list the objectives of the health and safety program; indicate who’s responsible for and accountable for various elements of the program; and say that substandard health and safety performance won`t be accepted [Govt. Guidelines: Elements of an OHS Policy, http://www.labour.gov.sk.ca/Default.aspx?DN=612911ca-ae98-40bf-8d4d-d978830b1fb4 ].
YUKON: OHS laws don’t specifically require OHS policies.