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Part I: Application

  • 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.

Almost every worker, supervisor, employer and workplace in Ontario is covered by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and regulations. Regulated parties also include owners, constructors, and suppliers of equipment or materials to workplaces.

Work and Workplaces Not Covered

The Act does not apply to:

  • work done by the owner or occupant, or a servant, in a private residence or in the lands and appurtenances used in connection with the private residence [subsection 3(1)], and
  • workplaces under federal jurisdiction, such as:
    • post offices
    • airlines and airports
    • banks
    • some grain elevators
    • telecommunication companies, and
    • interprovincial trucking, shipping, railway and bus companies.

Federal workplaces are covered under a different law: the Canada Labour Code.

Does the Act apply to farms?

Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act applies, with some limitations and exceptions, to all farming operations. It does not apply to farms operated by a self-employed person with no workers.

More information on the application of the Act to farming operations is contained in A Guide to the Occupational Health and Safety Act for Farming Operations.

Does the Act apply to teachers?

The OHSA applies, with some prescribed limitations and conditions, to teachers.

Does the Act apply to the self-employed person?

Specific provisions in the Act, such as those relating to specific employer duties, hazardous materials, notification, and enforcement, apply with necessary modifications to self-employed persons.

If you still are not sure regarding the application of the Act.

If there is any question about whether you or your workplace is covered by the Act, call the Ministry’s toll-free health and safety information line at 1-877-202-0008 (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday, for general inquiries about workplace health and safety).

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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.