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Key Terms and Concepts

  • Issued: April 11, 2014
  • Content last reviewed: July 2014

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) defines a worker as a person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation. It does not include an inmate that participates in a work project or rehabilitation program in a correctional institution or similar institution or facility [OHSA Section 1].

“Supervisor” is defined in the OHSA to mean a person who has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker [OHSA Section 1].

Employers are required to appoint a competent person as a supervisor. Under the OHSA, a “competent person” is defined as a person who:

  • a) is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience to organize the work and its performance
  • b) is familiar with the OHSA and the regulations that apply to the work and
  • c) has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health and safety in the workplace.

The Ministry of Labour is developing resources to help workplaces determine who is a supervisor under the OHSA. These resources will soon be made available on the ministry’s website.

Do these requirements apply to self-employed persons?

No. OHSA Section 4 states that only certain requirements and regulations apply to self-employed persons. The requirements for self-employed persons do not include the general duty to carry out prescribed training programs for workers, supervisors and committee members [OHSA Section 26(1)]. Self-employed persons are also not required to comply with the specific requirements in O. Reg. 297/13.

Do these requirements apply to constructors?

Employers are responsible for ensuring an awareness training program is completed by every worker and supervisor. On a construction project, if a constructor meets the OHSA definition of an employer, then he/she would be responsible for ensuring workers and supervisors complete an awareness training program.

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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.