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.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) contains definitions in addition to the content under the following headings:
Part I Application
Part II Administration
Part II.1 Prevention Council, Chief Prevention Officer and Designated Entities
Part III Duties of Employers and Other Persons
Part III.0.1 Violence and Harassment
Part III.1 Codes of Practice
Part IV Toxic Substances
Part V Right to Refuse or to Stop Work Where Health or Safety in Danger
Part VI Reprisals by Employer Prohibited
Part VII Notices
Part VIII Enforcement
Part IX Offences and Penalties
Part X Regulations
These are some of the terms more commonly used in the Act.
Any place in, on or near to where a worker works. A workplace could be a building, a mine, a construction site, an open field, a road, a forest, a vehicle or even a beach. In determining whether a place is a workplace, the Ministry of Labour (MOL) will consider questions such as: Is the worker being directed to work there?
Worker means any of the following, but does not include an inmate of a correctional institution or like institution or facility who participates inside the institution or facility in a work project or rehabilitation program:
A person who employs or contracts for the services of one or more workers. The term includes a contractor or subcontractor who performs work or supplies services and a contractor or subcontractor who undertakes with an owner, constructor, contractor, sub-contractor to perform work or supply services.
A person who undertakes a project for an owner and includes an owner who undertakes all or part of a project by himself or by more than one employer.
While the identification of a constructor is a fact-specific determination, the constructor is generally the person (such as the general contractor) who has overall control of a project. See also the publication entitled: Constructor Guideline: Health and Safety.
Prescribed means specified in regulations made under the Act.
A person, appointed by an employer, who has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker.
An owner includes a tenant, lessee, trustee, receiver, mortgagee in possession or occupier of the lands or premises. It also includes any person who acts as an agent for the owner.
A person who holds a logging licence under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994.
This term is not defined in the OHSA. However, by policy, MOL has interpreted the term to mean employed for a period that exceeds three months.
Workplace harassment is defined in the OHSA as engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.
Workplace violence is defined in the OHSA as the exercise or attempted exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker, or a statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker.
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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.