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The Pre-Start Health and Safety Review Report

  • 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.

What must the pre-start health and safety review report include?

When a pre-start health and safety review (PSR) is carried out, a written report is required that must contain the following:

  1. Details of measures that must be taken to bring the apparatus, structure, protective element or process into compliance with the specified provisions of the Industrial Establishments Regulation listed in the section 7 table [clause 7(4)(a)].

    Note: If the reviewer has used standards, specifications, calculations, risk analyses or other parameters other than the requirements of the Industrial Establishments Regulation, he or she must list the details of all those references or parameters, upon which the PSR is based, while still listing the details in item number 1, above.

  2. Details of measures to protect the health and safety of workers that are to be taken before testing is carried out [clause 7(4)(b)] if testing is required before the apparatus or structure can be operated or used or before the process can be used.

    Note: For the purposes of this section, “testing” may include debugging, commissioning and similar operations prior to production.

  3. Details of the structural adequacy of the apparatus or structure if item 3 or item 7 of the section 7 table applies [clause 7 (4)(c)].
  4. The signature of the person performing the pre-start health and safety review [subsection 7 (13)] and the date it was performed.
  5. If a professional engineer performed the PSR, his or her seal [subsection 7 (13)].
  6. If the person performing the PSR is not a professional engineer, details of his or her special, expert, or professional knowledge or qualifications [subsection 7 (13)].

Is the PSR report required to examine all applicable regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, or just the particular sections specified in the section 7 table?

Refer to the “applicable provisions” column in the section 7 table. The sections stated in that column are those that must be examined; however, there are also related sections in the Industrial Establishments Regulation and other legislation/regulations that are beyond the requirements of section 7.

Is it necessary to renew or update a PSR after a period of time if no changes have been made?

No, the passage of time is not a trigger for a renewal since Section 7 does not have requirements to update or renew a PSR.

Does the engineer carrying out the PSR need to complete a design review or an “as-installed” review?

A PSR is intended to be a design review prior to installation, not an as-installed review.

Engineers completing a PSR are not required to examine the as-installed equipment, although they may do so if adequate design drawings do not exist or if they wish to ensure the installation is done according to the design.

The PSR is undertaken before equipment is operated and ideally at the design stage. The employer must take any measures necessary to bring the construction, addition, installation or modification into compliance before the equipment is operated.

A best practice which most engineers follow is to examine the as-installed equipment to ensure they have not overlooked or missed any critical details and to ensure their instructions were properly understood and followed. A “sign-off” that the equipment is installed in conformance with the design is recommended.

Where do I keep or locate the pre-start health and safety review report?

The PSR report and supporting documentation should be kept readily accessible in the workplace for which the PSR was conducted for as long as the apparatus, structure, protective element or process remains in the workplace.

Subsection 7(14) requires that the report:

  1. be kept readily accessible in the workplace together with any supporting documents,

    and
  2. be provided to the Joint Health and Safety Committee or Health and Safety Representative, if any, before the apparatus, structure, protective element or process is operated or used.

If the paper copy of the report were located at a head office in another city or country, and could not be sent by electronic means, there might not be compliance with this provision, since the report would not be readily accessible. However, if the report were available electronically at the workplace where the machine, equipment, device or process is located, this would likely constitute compliance. The signature of the person who carried out the review must be on the report, as well as the seal of the professional engineer, if applicable.

What do I do with the documentation establishing an exemption?

Subsection 7(15) requires the documents to be made available for review, upon request, to the Joint Health and Safety Committee or Health and Safety Representative, if any, or to a Ministry of Labour inspector. Also, subsection 7(10) requires that the documents establishing the exemption be kept readily accessible in the workplace for as long as the protective element, rack or stacking structure, or lifting device, travelling crane or automobile hoist remains in the workplace or the process is used.

Must an owner, lessee or employer address all the measures identified in the PSR?

Clause 7 (3)(a) requires that all the measures identified in the PSR for compliance with the sections of the regulation identified in the section 7 table must be taken before the apparatus, structure, protective element or process is used or operated.

Alternatively, if some or all of the measures identified in the PSR are not taken, the owner, lessee or employer must provide written notice to the Joint Health and Safety Committee or the Health and Safety Representative, if any. This notice must indicate what measures have been taken to comply with the relevant provisions of the Regulation that are listed in the section 7 table [clause 7(3)(b)].

In any case, appropriate measures must be taken to ensure the safety of workers.

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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.