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.
Over the past decade, infectious diseases have gained prominence in Ontario health care facilities due to a number of outbreaks such as norovirus, clostridium difficile (commonly known as C. difficile) and influenza.
In Ontario, a large number of people – more than 500,000 – work in the health care sector. This includes more than 6,000 hospitals, long-term care homes, retirement homes, community care and other workplaces.
Healthcare workers are potentially at risk from exposure to infections in the workplace. Employers have a responsibility to control hazards in the workplace, and these hazards may include infectious agents.
Infection prevention and control will be the focus of a province-wide blitz in Ontario's health care sector during November 2011. The blitz will include hospitals, long-term care facilities, retirement homes and community health centres.
The stepped-up enforcement is part of the Ministry of Labour's Safe At Work Ontario strategy.
Inspectors will focus on the following key priorities:
The employer must develop written measures and procedures for the health and safety of workers [HCRF Section 8 and 9(1)].
These health and safety measures and procedures must be developed in consultation with the joint health and safety committee (JHSC) or health and safety representative (HSR)
The measures and procedures may deal with, but are not limited to:
An employer, in consultation with the JHSC or health and safety representative, must develop, establish and provide training and education programs in health and safety measures and procedures to protect workers from exposure to infectious agents [HCRF subsection 9(4)].
The Needle Safety Regulation applies in each of the following circumstances:
Call 1-877-202-0008 anytime to report workplace health and safety incidents. For general inquiries about workplace health and safety, call 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. In an emergency, always call 911 immediately.
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.