Ontario is serious when it comes to workplace safety. As part of
Ontario's enforcement strategy to increase compliance with the
Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations,
the Ministry of Labour (MOL) is scheduled to conduct safety blitzes
at workplaces across the province this fall. From September to
October, the focus will be on supervision at construction
According to the MOL, inspectors will visit construction
identified as being high-priority due to potential hazards
arising from inadequate supervision
where complaints have been Received
where there is a history of noncompliance
In order to ensure your compliance with respect to supervision
at construction sites, it is important to understand the
I. Why have supervisors?
II. Who is a supervisor?
III. What is the definition of "competent"?
IV. What are the responsibilities of supervisors?
V. What are the consequences of poor supervision?
I. Why have supervisors?
According to section 25(2) (a) of Ontario's Occupational
Health and Safety Act (OHSA), an employer shall provide
information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the
health or safety of the worker.
II. Who is a supervisor?
Definition of supervisor, under section 1 of the OHSA (Ontario),
means a person who has charge of a workplace or authority over a
III. What is the definition of
According to section 25 (2) (c) of the OHSA (Ontario), when
appointing a supervisor an employer shall appoint a competent
Competent is defined in the OHSA (Ontario) as:
A person who:
(a) is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience
to organize the work and its performance
(b) is familiar with this Act and the regulations that apply to
(c) has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or
safety in the workplace
IV. What are the responsibilities of
Supervisor responsibilities, as per section 27 of the OHSA
working in the manner and with the protective devices, measures
and procedures required by this Act and regulations
using or wearing the equipment, protective devices or clothing
that the worker's employer requires to be used or worn
advising a worker of the existence of any potential or actual
danger to the health or safety of the worker of which the
supervisor is aware
where so prescribed, providing a worker with written
instructions as to the measures and procedures to be taken for
protection of the worker
taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstances of the
protection of a worker.
It is important for supervisors to ensure a competent person is
available to act in their place at all times when they are not
available to do so themselves (e.g., if away sick or on
V. What are the consequences to poor
Inadequate supervision may lead to:
unidentified hazards, leading to accidents and injuries at the
reduced employee morale
charges under the OHSA and/or Criminal Code which can lead to
fines and/or jail terms
According to the MOL, violations involving supervisors were
among the top 10 orders issued by ministry inspectors under the
OHSA in 2011. During this upcoming inspection blitz, inspectors
will continue to take enforcement action, as appropriate, in
response to any violations of the OHSA and the construction
Remember, as a supervisor, it is important to:
know you duties
ensures risks associated with all tasks are identified,
assessed and controlled appropriately
monitor your employees and existing controls and ensure the
company policies, procedures and applicable provisions in the OHS
legislation are being adhered to
correct unsafe behaviour and conditions appropriately
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Staying local but going global presents its challenges. Gowling WLG lawyers offer an international roundtable on doing business in the U.K., France, Germany, China and Russia. This three-hour session will videoconference in lawyers from around the world to discuss business and intellectual property hurdles.
In the inaugural episode of Diversonomics, co-hosts Roberto Aburto and Sarah Willis introduce listeners to the podcast and discuss their experiences with diversity and inclusion in the legal industry. They also outline some of the obstacles the profession faces with respect to adopting new strategies and overhauling old practices.
For episode two of Diversonomics, co-hosts Roberto Aberto and Sarah Willis interview Mark Greenburgh, a partner in Gowling WLG's London office. They discuss the exciting new diversity and inclusion opportunities that have arisen since the combination of Gowlings and Wragge Lawrence Graham, as well at Gowling WLG UK's LGBT OpenHouse initiative.
Mark Greenburgh is a partner in Gowling WLG's London office, with his practice focused on employment litigation. He helps clients find solutions to workplace relationship issues and interpret the special legislation or collective agreements applicable to public sector employees.
Mark is also a Higher Rights Advocate, a Freeman of the City of London, Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Solicitors, a member of the City of London Employment Law Committee and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).