Legal Duties established by current occupational health and safety regulations in Canada

Duties under Canadian occupational health and safety regulations

The laws and regulations surrounding occupational health and safety in Canada are specifically enforced. These regulations are governed by the judicial system of the country, although each province and territory has its own special and applicable characteristics, however, the regulations of the federal jurisdiction are considered as central.

These regulations establish the options that employers and workers have to generate safe work environments. These laws include responsibilities for employers, supervisors, workers, constructors and even the owners of the company.

Thanks to these occupational health and safety regulations (OH&S) in Canada, today we have companies concerned about the health and safety of their workers, responsible with society and human resources.

The most curious thing about the occupational health and safety regulations in force in Canada is that they express all parties’ legal duties and rights, i.e., stipulate the employee and employer’s legal rights and responsibilities.

Thus, this law manages to eliminate any vacuum of responsibilities that may be ambiguous; therefore the solutions or consequences fall on a specific person who must comply with his legal duty.

What Are The Responsibilities Established By Law?


From our point of view, the current occupational health and safety regulations establish the following responsibilities; however, each person must discover the interpretation of the law at their convenience.

With this article, we want to share our point of view without intending to provide legal advice of any kind. Having said this, we can convey that the internal accountability system is established as follows:


What Are The Responsibilities Established By Law?

Employers must ensure the operation of a sound occupational health and safety system within the company. It is they, usually the management, who must establish a system of internal accountability that leads to compliance with internal health and safety standards.

The internal responsibility system is a kind of handbook that stipulates each employee’s responsibility within the company, including his or her contribution to occupational health and safety.

It is also the employer’s responsibility to create the consequences and incentives to enforce compliance, inform and prepare each employee regarding the regulations and create a safe environment.

It is important at this point to be aware of all the flaws within the organization, such as lighting failures, safety items needed for employees, repairs, among others.


It is the duty of supervisors to provide all occupational health and safety information to employees, to be aware of new measures and to monitor their implementation.

At the same time, supervisors must respond to warnings from employees and take precautionary measures when necessary, as well as make the best decisions to avoid risky situations.

Supervisors must also provide employers with reports on compliance with occupational health and safety measures.


Workers are responsible for complying with the safety measures and recommendations stipulated by the company, such as the use of safety equipment and risk prevention actions.

They must also be part of the company’s training and development programs that have to do with occupational health and safety. They must also inform their supervisor about any damage, changes, and risks they notice during the workday.

The proper functioning of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (OH&S) is possible if the company manages to work as an aligned gear, when each party contributes to the health and safety within the company and thus achieves a secure and beneficial space.

Internal or external health representatives:

These representatives are responsible for ensuring compliance with occupational health and safety regulations; it is a committee, department, or officer in charge of the occupational health and safety part of the company.

It can be an internal or external agent in charge of maintaining the regulations in operation, making risk reports, and controlling the operation and maintenance of safety equipment, depending on the industry.

Internal or external health representatives

Ministry of Labor:

This governmental entity is in charge of supervising and enforcing compliance within companies. Its purpose is to inform the current regulations and create strategies to implement them.

Although the occupational health and safety regulations in force establish these duties and also other rights, we have decided to mention the duties in the first part in order to continue sharing other articles with other information.

If you are looking for professional help to perform a health and safety implementation within your company, Think Safety Solutions brings software solutions to better manage the H&S of your organization

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