JHSC, Rep, Union, and Worker Entitlements to health and safety information pursuant to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)

Written health and safety reports in the workplace

Section 25 (2) L

This section entitles JHSCs and HSRs to receive copies of the results of any report about occupational health and safety that exists in the workplace. Examples include air quality reports, mould reports, incident reports that do not result in injury. Note: The Act exempts harassment report investigations from this section.  

An employer shall:

(l) provide to the committee or to a health and safety representative the results of a report respecting occupational health and safety that is in the employer’s possession and, if that report is in writing, a copy of the portions of the report that concern occupational health and safety

And the employer must inform workers of the report as well: 

(m) advise workers of the results of a report referred to in clause (l) and, if the report is in writing, make available to them on request copies of the portions of the report that concern occupational health and safety. 

Notice of Critical Injuries 

A critical injury is defined by Regulation 834 as an injury that puts life in jeopardy, results in loss of consciousness, severe loss of blood, a fractured (or amputation of) arm, leg, hand or foot, but not a finger or a toe, severe burns, or loss of sight in one eye. 

Section 51 covers the right of the JHSC/H&S rep and the union to receive notices of critical injury and/or fatality

Where a person is killed or critically injured from any cause at a workplace, the constructor, if any and the employer shall notify an inspector, and the committee, health and safety representative and trade union, if any, immediately of the occurrence by telephone, telegram, or other direct means and the employer shall, within forty-eight hours after the occurrence, send to a Director a written report of the circumstances of the occurrence containing  such information and particulars as the regulations prescribe.

Section 5 in the Regulations (Industrial and Health Care) specify what the written report must contain:

(1) The written report required by Section 51 of the Act shall include: 

a) name and address of the constructor and employer 

b) nature and circumstances of the occurrence and the bodily injury sustained

c) a description of the machinery and equipment involved

d) time and place of the occurrence

e) name and address of the person who was killed or critically injured

f) names and addresses of all witnesses to the occurrence

g) name and address of the physician or surgeon, if any, who the person was or is being attended by

Notice of critical injury triggers the JHSC/rep worker’s right to investigate a critical injury

Section 9.31(and Section 8.14 for reps)

Worker members of the JHSC can select one or more such members (or if no committee, a health and safety rep may) investigate, visit the place where the injury occurred, and report findings to the JHSC (if any) and the MOL.  

A critical injury triggers the right of the worker members of the JHSC or HSR to conduct an investigation and to draft a report and recommendations for the JHSC. 

Other injuries and reports of occupational disease

Section 52

the right of the JHSC/H&S rep and the union to receive notices of workplace injury and/or occupational disease. Non-critical injuries, including injuries where someone is injured, loses time from work or is disabled from performing their regular duties (ie accommodated with no lost time), or reports an occupational disease (either lost time or no lost time): 

52(1) If a person is disabled from performing his or her usual work or requires medical attention because of an accident, explosion or fire, or incident of workplace violence at a workplace, but no person dies or is critically injured because of that occurrence, the employer shall, within four days of the occurrence, give written notice of the occurrence containing the prescribed information and particulars to the director, JHSC, and the trade union.

(2) If the employer is advised by or on behalf of a worker that a worker has an occupational illness or that a claim in respect of an occupational illness has been filed with WSIB by or on behalf of the worker, the employer shall give notice in writing, within 4 days of being advised, to a director, JHSC, rep, and trade union, containing such information and particulars as are prescribed.

(3) Subsection (2) applies with all necessary modifications if an employer is advised by or on behalf of a former worker that the worker has or had an occupational illness or that a claim in respect of an occupational illness has been filed with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board by or on behalf of the worker.

Section 5 in the Regulations (Industrial and Health Care) specify what the written report must contain:

(2) For the purposes of Section 52 of the act, notice of, 

a) an accident, explosion or fire which disables a worker from performing his or her usual work, or 

b) an occupational illness

shall include:

c) name, address and type of business of the employer

d) nature and circumstances of the occurrence and the bodily injury sustained

e) a description of the machinery and equipment involved

f) time and place of the occurrence

g) name and address of the person suffering the injury or illness

h) names and addresses of all witnesses to the occurrence

i) name and address of the physician or surgeon, if any, who the person was or is being attended by

j) the steps taken to prevent a recurrence

(3) A record of an accident, explosion or fire causing injury requiring medical attention but not disabling a worker from performing his or her usual work shall be kept in the permanent records of the employer and include particulars of: 

a) the nature and circumstances of the occurrence and the injury sustained

b) the time and place of the occurrence 

c) the name and address of the injured person  

MOL Inspector Reports

JHSCs and HSRs are entitled to copies of MOL reports. 

Section 57 (10):

a) Where an inspector makes an order in writing, or issues a report of his or her inspection to an owner, constructor, licensee, employer, or person in charge of the workplace, the owner, constructor, licensee, employer, or person in charge of the workplace shall forthwith cause a copy or copies of it to be posted in a conspicuous place or places at the workpace where it is most likely to come to the attention of the workers and shall furnish a copy of the order or report to the health and safety representative and the committee if any.  

And if the MOL visit resulted from a worker complaint, the worker may request and receive a copy of the MOL report as well:

Section 57 (10) 

b) And if the order or report resulted from a complaint of a contravention of this Act or the regulations and the person who made the complaint requests a copy of it, the inspector shall cause a copy of it to be furnished to that person. 

Workplace violence risk assessment and re-assessment

Section 32.0.3 – results of risk assessments and re-assessments provided to JHSC or H&S Rep.

Employers must provide the JHSC/HSR with copies of the workplace violence risk assessment and any reassessment. Remember that the risk assessment should also include measures and procedures to address the risks identified. 

An employer shall:

(3) (a) advise the committee or a health and safety representative, if any, of the results of the assessment, and provide a copy if the assessment is in writing; and

(b) if there is no committee or health and safety representative, advise the workers of the results of the assessment and, if the assessment is in writing, provide copies on request or advise the workers how to obtain copies.  

(5) Subsection (3) also applies with respect to the results of the reassessment.

Worker entitlements for information

Workers are entitled to the information and instruction that they need in order to work safely (Section 25.2a). The Act also has specific sections that entitle workers to get other information directly, such as the contents of the workplace violence and harassment policies and programs, and information about a person with a history of violence that the worker may come into contact with. Also, in cases of harassment, complainants and respondents are entitled to receive sufficient information to be able to participate in the investigation, they may be assured of confidentiality to the extent possible, and they are entitled to written results and information regarding corrective action following the investigation.  

Section 32.0.5– employer duties re: violence

(2) An employer shall provide a worker with,

(a) information and instruction that is appropriate for the worker on the contents of the policy and program with respect to workplace violence; and

(b) any other prescribed information or instruction.

(3) An employer’s duty to provide information to a worker under clause 25 (2) (a) and a supervisor’s duty to advise a worker under clause 27 (2) (a) include the duty to provide information, including personal information, related to a risk of workplace violence from a person with a history of violent behaviour if,

(a) the worker can be expected to encounter that person in the course of his or her work; and

(b) the risk of workplace violence is likely to expose the worker to physical injury.

Section 32.0.7– duties re: harassment

To protect a worker from workplace harassment, an employer shall ensure that;

(b) the worker who has allegedly experienced workplace harassment and the alleged harasser, if he or she is a worker of the employer, are informed in writing of the results of the investigation and of any corrective action that has been taken or that will be taken as a result of the investigation

Questions?

Call OPSEU’s Health and Safety Unit at 1-800-268-7376 or 416-443-8888

Publication Date: 

Sunday, March 12, 2017 - 3:30pm