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About this Guide

  • Revised: March 20, 2015
  • Content last reviewed: March 2015
  • Also available in Spanish [PDF, 729 Kb / 82 pages ]

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.

This guide can assist you in understanding how to have a healthy and safe workplace. It explains what every worker, supervisor, employer, constructor and workplace owner needs to know about the Occupational Health and Safety Act. It describes workplace parties’ rights and responsibilities in the workplace and answers, in plain language, the questions that are most commonly asked about the Act.

This guide is intended to provide an overview of the Act. It is not a legal document. The guide does not cover every situation or answer every question about the legal requirements concerning occupational health and safety in Ontario. In order to understand your legal rights and duties, you must read the Act and the regulations. But if you read this guide beforehand, you may find the technical language of the legislation easier to understand. Throughout the guide, the relevant section numbers of the Occupational Health and Safety Act have been inserted in the text for ease of reference.

The Ministry of Labour issues guidance documents to assist with the application and interpretation of sections of the Act that relate to occupational health and safety. Guidance documents are intended to assist workplace parties with compliance, but, are not intended to provide interpretations of the law. This guidance document is designed to provide all workplace parties with guidance on the requirements of the OHSA.

Current versions of Ontario law can be viewed at or downloaded and printed from e-Laws.

If you need help in answering questions about the Act or the regulations, you have a number of options. You may:

  • Visit the Ministry of Labour website
  • Call the Ministry’s toll-free health and safety information line at 1-877-202-0008 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday for general inquiries about workplace health and safety
  • Seek legal advice.

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Disclaimer: This web resource has been prepared to assist the workplace parties in understanding some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the regulations. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations and reference should always be made to the official version of the legislation.

It is the responsibility of the workplace parties to ensure compliance with the legislation. This web resource does not constitute legal advice. If you require assistance with respect to the interpretation of the legislation and its potential application in specific circumstances, please contact your legal counsel.

While this web resource will also be available to Ministry of Labour inspectors, they will apply and enforce the OHSA and its regulations based on the facts as they may find them in the workplace. This web resource does not affect their enforcement discretion in any way.