2017 “Green Book” – Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations

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The “Green Book” Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act and Regulations, is updated annually and published by Occupational Safety Group Inc. based on legislative and regulatory changes. “The Green Book” contains the complete, current Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OH&S Act) and also includes the following regulations: confined spaces, construction projects, control of exposure to biological or chemical agents, designated substances, farming operations, first aid requirements, health care and residential facilities, industrial establishments, and WHMIS. *Note: This book does not include information pertaining to mines.

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What’s New in the 2017 OHSA

Amendments to O.Reg 213/91 Construction Projects clarified and solidified existing requirements in reference to the use of suspended access equipment.  These amendments in relation to the use of suspended access equipment come into effect January 1, 2017. Some key amendments include:

The requirement to notify the Ministry of Labour before first-time use of suspended access equipment at a project

Training for workers who use or inspect suspended access equipment

Requirements for roof plans and site-specific work plans

Strengthening existing design, operational, technical and engineering requirements

Amplifying the current inspection, testing and maintenance requirements

Amendments have been made to Regulation 860 – WHMIS. WHMIS has adopted international standards for the classifying of hazardous chemicals, Safety Data Sheets, and labels. The international standards are part of the Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The transition began in February 2015 and will conclude in December 2018.

As of September 2016, the government of Ontario implemented Bill 132, The Sexual Violence and Harassment Plan Act. Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act include a change to the definition of workplace harassment, and increased employer obligations with respect to workplace harassment programs.

In December 2016, Bill 70 officially received Royal Assent. Bill 70, Building Ontario up for Everyone Act will amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act by adding the definition “health and safety management system.” The amendment permits the Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) to accredit a health and safety management system and establish standards that a health and safety management system must meet in order to become accredited.

For additional information and changes please go to: https://www.ontario.ca/laws


 

About the Occupational Health & Safety Act and Regulations

Since 1979, when the Act came into law, amendments to the Act have been introduced to establish new procedures as well as new rights and duties for workers, employers, supervisors and others in the workplace. One of the most important changes was giving the Joint Heath & Safety Committee’s the right to participate in health and safety recommendations. But that wasn’t the only established right given to workers, there are three basic rights. Every Worker has Rights The Ham Commission Report was instrumental in establishing the three basic rights for workers. These include;

Right to Know 

Employers and supervisors must ensure workers are aware of the hazards presented by people, equipment, materials, the environment, and processes. They have the right to be trained on, and to receive information about dangerous and hazardous substances that they are exposed to, or are likely to be exposed.

Right to Participate

The right to participate is best illustrated through worker membership on the J.H.S.C. Workers have the right to ask questions about issues concerning their health and safety or that of a coworker. Workers have the right to be a part of the process of identifying, assessing and controlling workplace health and safety hazards. Participation can also be achieved by reporting unsafe conditions to the supervisor or employer.

Right to Refuse Unsafe Work

Workers may refuse work where they believe it is likely to endanger themselves, or any other worker.The Act includes a detailed process for refusing unsafe work and explains the employer’s responsibility for responding to work refusals. The Act also provides workers with protection from reprisal, or retaliation, from the employer should they decided to refuse unsafe work.

 

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