July 15, 2012
Article Image

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, employers are required by law to post the Act and explanatory material prepared by the Ministry of Labour, including a new poster.

The poster summarizes workers’ health and safety rights and responsibilities and the responsibilities of employers and supervisors.

The ministry has announced it wants to ensure that employers have sufficient time to become aware of the new requirement to post the poster. Inspectors will begin enforcing this requirement effective Oct. 1, 2012.

Employers can now obtain a free new workplace poster in English, French and 15 other languages online at www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/pubs/poster_prevention.php. Once downloaded, you can print the poster in black and white, or in colour. The Ministry requires that the poster be printed at least 8.5 x 11 inches.

The message reminds employers that they must not take action against workers for following the act or for raising workplace health and safety concerns, and seeking enforcement of the OHSA. The poster encourages workers to get involved in health and safety and explains when and why to contact the Ministry of Labour.

In March, 2010, the Minister of Labour appointed an Expert Advisory Panel to review Ontario’s occupational health and safety system. The Panel included representatives of organized labour, employers, and the academic community.

The Panel found that many workers had little or no understanding of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, including their rights and obligations as workers or the obligations of employers and supervisors. The Report advised that a health and safety poster be made available in multiple languages.