Disclaimer: This resource has been prepared to help the workplace parties understand some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and regulations. It is not legal advice. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations. For further information please see full disclaimer.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) reduces or prevents a worker’s exposure to occupational health and safety hazards. The equipment acts as a barrier to protect workers from blows to the body, loud noises, heat, chemicals, infections, and electrical and other hazards. PPE can refer to protective clothing, helmets, shoes, goggles, respirators and other safety gear worn or used by workers.
In October 2011, the Ministry of Labour will focus on PPE during an enforcement blitz at industrial and health care workplaces across Ontario.
Employers, supervisors and workers have duties and responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations. Workplace obligations include, but are not limited, to the following:
An employer must:
A supervisor must:
A worker must:
Although the blitz will mainly focus on head, eye and foot protection at industrial and health care workplaces, inspectors may also address other types of PPE, including fall, respiratory, skin and hearing protection.
Inspectors will check whether the requirements related to the selection, use and care of PPE, and worker training in the use of PPE are being met by all workplace parties, as specified in the OHSA.
In industrial workplaces, inspectors will focus on PPE that protects the eye, head and foot, and address any other hazards they may find.
Inspectors will focus on safety gear used by workers in the following sectors:
The blitz will also focus on hospitals, long-term care homes and homes for residential care. The blitz will check for safety gear being worn or used by non-clinical staff in the following departments of health care workplaces:
Inspectors will look for equipment that protects the:
Sections 10 through 15 of the Health Care and Residential Facilities regulation (O. Reg. 67/93) – regarding PPE – will apply to applicable workplaces.
Call 1-877-202-0008 anytime to report workplace health and safety incidents or for general inquiries about health and safety at the workplace.