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Purpose of these Guidelines

  • Issued: November 23, 2016
  • Content last reviewed: November 2016

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 purpose of these guidelines is to clarify the intent and the requirements of section 7 of the Industrial Establishments Regulation regarding pre-start health and safety reviews. Within these guidelines, the term “pre-start health and safety review” includes a written report as required by section 7 of the Industrial Establishments Regulation.

The requirements set out in section 7 apply only to factories as defined by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

Factory is defined in section 1 of OHSA as follows:

(a) a building or place other than a mine, mining plant or place where homework is carried on, where,

  • (i) any manufacturing process or assembling in connection with the manufacturing of any goods or products is carried on,
  • (ii) in preparing, inspecting, manufacturing, finishing, repairing, warehousing, cleaning or adapting for hire or sale any substance, article or thing, energy is,
    • (A) used to work any machinery or device, or
    • (B) modified in any manner,
  • (iii) any work is performed by way of trade or for the purposes of gain in or incidental to the making of any goods, substance, article or thing or part thereof,
  • (iv) any work is performed by way of trade or for the purposes of gain in or incidental to the altering, demolishing, repairing, maintaining, ornamenting, finishing, storing, cleaning, washing or adapting for sale of any goods, substance, article or thing, or
  • (v) aircraft, locomotives or vehicles used for private or public transport are maintained,

(b) a laundry including a laundry operated in conjunction with,

  • (i) a public or private hospital,
  • (ii) a hotel, or
  • (iii) a public or private institution for religious, charitable or educational purposes, and

(c) a logging operation.

Please note: even though “logging operations” are captured under the definition of “factory” they are not subject to the requirements of section 7 of the Industrial Establishments Regulation under the OHSA, as specified in subsection 7 (2).

Logging is defined in section 1 of OHSA as follows:

“logging” means the operation of felling or trimming trees for commercial or industrial purposes or for the clearing of land, and includes the measuring, storing, transporting or floating of logs, the maintenance of haul roads, scarification, the carrying out of planned burns and the practice of silviculture.

You may wish to read all of the definitions as they appear in the Act by referring to the OHSA at the Ontario government's e-laws site.

Intent of section 7

Section 7 of the Industrial Establishments Regulation sets out requirements to ensure that a timely professional review identifies specific hazards, or hazards associated with the specified sections of the regulation.

Section 7 is intended to ensure that such hazards are removed or controlled before the apparatus or process is started up. The pre-start health and safety review ends when the apparatus or process is started up.

Effective date

Section 7 became effective on October 7, 2000. If a pre-development review was done prior to this date, then another review would not be necessary, unless there were modifications to an existing machine, equipment, device, structure, protective element or process or such modifications were planned. These guidelines will assist in making that determination.

Please note that not all modifications require review. For details, please refer to the questions and answers in the next section regarding existing equipment.

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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.