The Ministry of Labour has published a poster explaining key workers’ rights and responsibilities and the responsibilities of employers and supervisors under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Employers are required by the Act to post copies of the poster (along with a copy of the Act) in English and the language of the majority of the workers in the workplace. According to the Ministry, inspectors will begin enforcing this obligation on October 1, 2012.
The creation of a health and safety poster was one of the recommendations made by the Expert Advisory Panel, which was appointed to review Ontario’s occupational health and safety system following a series of workplace fatalities in late 2009 and early 2010, including the highly-publicized quadruple fatality involving immigrant, non-union workers who fell after a swing-stage collapsed on Christmas Eve 2009. During its review, the Panel found that many workers, particularly vulnerable workers, had little understanding of their rights and the responsibilities of employers under the Act. In order to improve their understanding, the Panel recommended that the Ministry develop a health and safety poster explaining these rights and responsibilities and that employers be required to post the poster in the workplace.
As soon as possible and by no later than October 1, 2012, employers should download copies of the poster in English and any other language necessary and post them in a conspicuous location where they are likely to come to the attention of workers.