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Appendix A: Constructor Guideline

  • ISBN: 978-1-4249-6190-0
  • Revised: March 2009
  • Content last reviewed: June 2009

Constructor’s Duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act,
R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1

The following chart sets out a summary of the duties of a constructor. While efforts have been made to ensure accuracy and completeness, the chart is intended for general guidance and assistance only. It does not constitute legal advice and does not replace the legislative provisions. In the event of any inconsistency between the chart and the Occupational Health and Safety Act and applicable regulations, the latter prevails. For the purpose of determining the precise duties of a constructor, reference should always be made to the official volumes of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and applicable regulations.

Duty Section of Act
To cause the workers to select at least one health and safety representative at a project or other workplace where no committee is required under section 9 and where the number of workers regularly exceeds five. 8(1)
To agree upon a schedule of health and safety inspections, allowing the health and safety representative to inspect the physical conditions of the workplace at least once a year, inspecting part of the workplace each month--if a health and safety inspection cannot be completed at least once a month. 8(8)
To provide a health and safety representative with information and assistance as the member may require for the purpose of carrying out an inspection of the workplace. 8(9)
To respond in writing within 21 days to written recommendations from a health and safety representative (H&S Rep) based on a worksite health and safety inspection. 8(12)
To ensure that the written response required in section 8(12) contains a timetable for the implementation of the recommendations that the constructor agrees with, and an explanation for the recommendations he/she does not agree with. 8(13)
To cause the selection and maintenance of a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) for a workplace where and as required 9(3)and 9(4)
To select the members of the JHSC that exercise managerial functions and, to the extent possible, do so at the workplace 9(9)
To ensure that at least one of the JHSC members representing Management and at least one of the members representing workers are certified when the project has 50 or more workers that are regularly employed and is expected to last more than three months. 9(12)(13)
If there is more than one certified JHSC member representing Management, the constructor shall designate one or more of them who then becomes solely entitled to exercise the rights and required to perform the duties under this Act, of a certified member representing a constructor. 9(16)
If a certified member resigns from the JHSC or is unable to act in his or her functions, the constructor shall take all steps necessary to ensure that the requirements for certified members are met. 9(17)
The constructor is to provide the JHSC with the following information upon request;
  1. (i) the identification of potential or existing hazards of materials, processes or equipment, and
  2. (ii) health and safety experience and work practices and standards in similar or other industries of which the constructor has knowledge.
Provide the JHSC with any information concerning the conducting or taking of tests of any equipment, machine, device, article, thing, material or biological, chemical or physical agent in or about a workplace, and consult with the JHSC and have them represent the workers and be present while such testing is conducted 9(18)(e) & 9(18)(f)
A constructor who receives written recommendations from the JHSC must respond within 21 days 9(20)
The constructor will ensure that the written response required in section 9(20), contains a timetable for the implementation of the recommendations that the constructor agrees with, and an explanation for the recommendations the constructor does not approve of. 9(21)
The constructor will provide the JHSC member with any information required for them to perform their workplace inspections 9(29)
The constructor is responsible for posting the names and work locations of all JHSC members in a conspicuous location where they will come to the attention of most workers 9(32)
The constructor is responsible for consulting with a JHSC member, or health and safety rep, regarding proposed testing strategies for investigating industrial hygiene in workplaces; and providing the representative with information on these strategies. 11(1) & 11(2)
The constructor shall ensure, on a project undertaken by the constructor that,
  1. (a) the measures and procedures prescribed by this Act and the regulations are carried out on the project;
  2. (b) every employer and worker performing work on the project complies with this Act and the regulations; and
  3. (c) the health and safety of workers on the project is protected.
Where so prescribed, a constructor shall, before commencing any work on a project, give to a Director notice in writing of the project containing the presribed information. 23(2)
The constructor for a project shall ensure that each prospective contractor and subcontractor for the project has received a copy of the list of designated substances that are present on the job site, before the prospective contractor or subcontractor enters into a binding contract. 30(4)
If certified members of the JHSC determine that a dangerous circumstance exists and direct the constructor to stop work or stop the use of the equipment, machine or thing, the constructor must immediately comply with this request in a manner that will not endanger a person. (Bilateral work stoppage) 45(5)
After taking steps to remedy the dangerous circumstances, the constructor may request the certified members or an MOL inspector to cancel the direction 45(7)
The constructor must comply immediately with a direction from a certified member to sop work or stop the use of any equipment, machine or thing if the certified member finds that dangerous circumstances exist and ensure that compliance is effected in a way that does not endanger a person 47(3)
After complying with the direction, the constructor must promptly investigate the matter in the presence of the certified member 47(4)
The constructor shall notify an inspector, JHSC/health and safety rep, and trade union (if any), where a person is killed or critically injured from any cause at a workplace. This is to be done immediately by telephone, or other direct means. 51(1)
Where a notice or report is not required under section 51 or 52, the constructor who has an accident, explosion, fire, flood, failure of any equipment or machine, cave-in, or other incident as prescribed occur at a project site, shall within two days provide notice in writing of the occurrence to a Director, committee, health and safety rep and trade union (if any). 53
If required in writing by an inspector, the constructor is to provide a report bearing the seal and signature of a professional engineer stating,
  1. (i) load limits of a floor, roof or temporary work or part of a building, structure or temporary work,
  2. (ii) that a floor, roof or temporary work is capable of supporting or withstanding the loads being applied to it or likely to be applied to it, or
  3. (iii) that a floor, roof or temporary work, or part of a building, structure or temporary work is capable of supporting or withstanding all loads to which it may be subjected without causing the materials to be stressed beyond the allowable unit stresses established under the Building Code Act or established by regulation.
Where an inspector makes an inspection under the powers conferred by the Act, the constructor shall afford a JHSC member, a health and safety representative or a knowlegeable worker selected by the trade union(s), an opportunity to accompany an inspector during his/her physical inspection of the workplace or parts thereof. 54(3)
Where an inspector finds a contravention of the Act or the regulations, he or she may order the constructor (among others) to comply with the provision and may require the order to be carried out (forthwith, or within the specified time frame). Failure to comply with an order constitutes an offence 57(1), 66
To post a copy or copies of orders or reports issued by an Inspector in a conspicuous place at the workplace where it is most likely to come to the attention of the workers and shall provide the JHSC or health and safety rep. with a copy; and if the order resulted from a complaint of a contravention of the Act or regulations, provide a copy of it to the person who made the complaint if the complainant requests it. 57(10)
Where an order has been made under section 57(6)(c), not allow a worker to enter the workplace except for the purpose of doing the work necessary or required to remove the danger or hazard and only where the worker is protected from the danger or hazard. 58
To submit a notice of compliance to the Ministry within three days of receiving an order, if the constructor believes compliance with the inspector’s order has been achieved. 59(1)
The constructor shall sign the notice and ensure the following information accompanies it,
  1. (a) a statement of agreement or disagreement with the contents of the notice, signed by a member of the JHSC or by a health and safety representative, or
  2. (b) a statement that the member or representative has declined to sign the statement.
The constructor must post the notice and the order for a period of fourteen days following its submission to the Ministry in a place or places in the workplace where it is most likely to come to the attention of workers. 59(3)

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