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Q & A 1: A series of frequently asked question about health and safety

Q & A 1: A series of frequently asked question about health and safety

We the North
We the North
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#1 in a series

Q: The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) says that  a workplace with 20 or more workers who are “regularly employed” is entitled to a Joint Health and Safety Committee, while a workplace with 6 to 19 workers who are “regularly employed” is entitled to a Health and Safety Representative. What does “regularly employed” mean?

A: “Regularly employed” refers to the number of workers who are employed for a period of more than three months.  This includes permanent full-time staff, permanent part-time staff, casual and contract staff, and seasonal workers. It also includes managers and supervisors.

There may be situations where there is a high turnover of staff and a number of different workers fill a particular position, with each person working for less than three months.  If the term of the position exceeds three months, that position is included for the purpose of determining whether a health and safety representative or joint health and safety committee is required. It doesn’t matter that no single worker occupied the position for more than three months.