FAQs

WSIB

Who is a worker?


​​A worker is a person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation, a secondary school student who performs work under a work experience program (co-op student), a person who performs work for no monetary compensation as a "learner" as part of a post-secondary institution.




What is a medical aid injury?


A medical aid is an injury that requires your employee to seek medical attention from a Health Care Practitioner. This can be a Doctor, Physiotherapist, Chiropractor etc. Any Health Care Professional as defined by the Health Care Professionals Act.




What is the difference between hazardous and designated substances?


Designated substances are only those 11 chemicals listed in and governed by the Designated Substances Regulation. They were chosen for designation due to the known hazards they cause when used in industry and workplaces. As they are designated, more specific controls apply to them. Hazardous chemicals are all other substances known to also have hazards yet their control of use is less prescriptive.




What is WSIA?


Workplace Safety Insurance Act (WSIA), is the Act governing the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and the benefits to workers.




What is workplace violence?


Workplace violence has been defined under the Occupational Health and Safety Act as the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, an attempt to exercise physical force or a statment or behaviour that is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against a worker accompanied by verbal or written threats. Physical attacks, such as hitting, kicking, scratching or biting are included as violent behaviour.




What is harassment?


Harassment under the Occupational Health and Safety Act is defined as vexatious comment or conduct that includes, among other things: Inappropriate comments; Distribution of discriminatory materials; Behaviour intended to incite hatred; Verbal or physical conduct of a nature which is known or ought reasonably to have been known to be unwelcome. Please remember that the grounds for discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code remain the same and include the following prohibited grounds of discrimination: race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed (religion), age, record of offences, sex (including pregnancy), family status, marital status, or disability or perceived disability.




What is sexual harassment?


Sexual harassment is defined as: (a) Engaging in a course of vexatious comments or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought to be known or unwelcome, or (b) Making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.




What is "WHMIS 2015"?


​WHMIS 2015 is the result of Canada aligning the Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS) with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). The federal component of WHMIS has come into force, however there are transition period stages.





TRAINING

Who is a worker?


​​A worker is a person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation, a secondary school student who performs work under a work experience program (co-op student), a person who performs work for no monetary compensation as a "learner" as part of a post-secondary institution.




What is a medical aid injury?


A medical aid is an injury that requires your employee to seek medical attention from a Health Care Practitioner. This can be a Doctor, Physiotherapist, Chiropractor etc. Any Health Care Professional as defined by the Health Care Professionals Act.




What is the difference between hazardous and designated substances?


Designated substances are only those 11 chemicals listed in and governed by the Designated Substances Regulation. They were chosen for designation due to the known hazards they cause when used in industry and workplaces. As they are designated, more specific controls apply to them. Hazardous chemicals are all other substances known to also have hazards yet their control of use is less prescriptive.




What is WSIA?


Workplace Safety Insurance Act (WSIA), is the Act governing the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and the benefits to workers.




What is workplace violence?


Workplace violence has been defined under the Occupational Health and Safety Act as the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, an attempt to exercise physical force or a statment or behaviour that is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against a worker accompanied by verbal or written threats. Physical attacks, such as hitting, kicking, scratching or biting are included as violent behaviour.




What is harassment?


Harassment under the Occupational Health and Safety Act is defined as vexatious comment or conduct that includes, among other things: Inappropriate comments; Distribution of discriminatory materials; Behaviour intended to incite hatred; Verbal or physical conduct of a nature which is known or ought reasonably to have been known to be unwelcome. Please remember that the grounds for discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code remain the same and include the following prohibited grounds of discrimination: race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed (religion), age, record of offences, sex (including pregnancy), family status, marital status, or disability or perceived disability.




What is sexual harassment?


Sexual harassment is defined as: (a) Engaging in a course of vexatious comments or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought to be known or unwelcome, or (b) Making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.




What is "WHMIS 2015"?


​WHMIS 2015 is the result of Canada aligning the Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS) with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). The federal component of WHMIS has come into force, however there are transition period stages.





JOINT HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEE (JHSC)

I recently hired some additional staff and now have 25 employees working for me. Do my obligations under the health and safety laws change?


If you did not have a Joint Health and Safety Committee before, then yes. Every workplace in Ontario that employs 20 or more workers on a full time or part time basis must have a Joint Health and Safety Committee in place. This committee must also have two certified members on it. All certified members must successfully complete both the basic and work site specific certification training. Describe your workplace in a bit more detail and I will be able to direct you in the right direction.




We are one corporation but have more than one site, how many representatives are required?


JHSCs are required at each site with 20 + workers unless the employer has applied for a Multisite JHSC agreement to be recognized by the Ministry of Labour (MOL). A Joint Health & Safety Committee size requirement varies depending on the amount of employees. For 20 to 49 employees a minimum of 2 members are required, one representing the workers and one representing management. For 50 or more employees a minimum of 4 members are required (two worker representatives and two management representatives).




When is permission required for multi-workplace JHSC required?


JHSCs are required at each site with 20 + workers unless the employer has applied for a Multi-site JHSC agreement to be recognized by the MOL.
A multi-site agreement is required when the employer does not want to establish a committee at each location which is geographically separate and there are 20+ employees at each site.
What is it and how does it work? The agreement allows the employer more flexibility and it is easier to manage a committee instead of several for consistency issues and true involvement by all groups. The concept started in the School Board System several years ago and is also used extensively in the Municipalities.




How do we ensure representatives be at the JHSC meeting if it isn’t geographically feasible?


I always recommend a representation of all work groups and concentrate less on geography. Recent changes to the Act now allow non JHSC workers to conduct inspections in remote locations when a multi site JHSC agreement is in place. These workers are NOT JHSC members nor do they have a right to attend JHSC meetings, unless invited to by the co-chairs. These employees do require training from the employer on how to conduct workplace inspections.





WORK CONDITIONS / WORKPLACE

I recently hired some additional staff and now have 25 employees working for me. Do my obligations under the health and safety laws change?


If you did not have a Joint Health and Safety Committee before, then yes. Every workplace in Ontario that employs 20 or more workers on a full time or part time basis must have a Joint Health and Safety Committee in place. This committee must also have two certified members on it. All certified members must successfully complete both the basic and work site specific certification training. Describe your workplace in a bit more detail and I will be able to direct you in the right direction.




We are one corporation but have more than one site, how many representatives are required?


JHSCs are required at each site with 20 + workers unless the employer has applied for a Multisite JHSC agreement to be recognized by the Ministry of Labour (MOL). A Joint Health & Safety Committee size requirement varies depending on the amount of employees. For 20 to 49 employees a minimum of 2 members are required, one representing the workers and one representing management. For 50 or more employees a minimum of 4 members are required (two worker representatives and two management representatives).




When is permission required for multi-workplace JHSC required?


JHSCs are required at each site with 20 + workers unless the employer has applied for a Multi-site JHSC agreement to be recognized by the MOL.
A multi-site agreement is required when the employer does not want to establish a committee at each location which is geographically separate and there are 20+ employees at each site.
What is it and how does it work? The agreement allows the employer more flexibility and it is easier to manage a committee instead of several for consistency issues and true involvement by all groups. The concept started in the School Board System several years ago and is also used extensively in the Municipalities.




How do we ensure representatives be at the JHSC meeting if it isn’t geographically feasible?


I always recommend a representation of all work groups and concentrate less on geography. Recent changes to the Act now allow non JHSC workers to conduct inspections in remote locations when a multi site JHSC agreement is in place. These workers are NOT JHSC members nor do they have a right to attend JHSC meetings, unless invited to by the co-chairs. These employees do require training from the employer on how to conduct workplace inspections.





MINISTRY OF LABOUR

Would you be able to advise me on what the current mandatory "postings" required for employers by WSIB and the Ministry of Labour?


Every workplace is required to have:

  • a recent copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and applicable Regulation
  • the "Prevention Starts Here" poster, and
  • the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board "In Case of Injury at Work" poster posted.
If you employ 5 (five) or more employees you are required to have a copy of your Health and Safety Policy Statement as well as your Violence and Harassment Policy posted. Please Ensure that the most current version, not being more than one year old is posted. As of September 2016, your workplace also needs to include a “definition” of sexual harassment in its policy statement and have a program in place to prevent and investigate it. If you employ between 6 and 19 staff you are required to post the name and location of the worker health and safety representative (the one chosen by the employees who conducts your monthly workplace inspections) or if you employ more than 19 workers (i.e. 20 or more) you need to post the names of the Joint Health and Safety Committee members. In addition you are required to post the Ministry of Labour Employment Standards Poster “What you should know” Version 4. The only other material that needs to be posted is a copy of a Ministry of Labour Inspection Report, if they have been in recently to inspect your workplace. One additional posting required is your Health and Safety Policy Statement. This is the policy statement which is updated yearly and signed by your senior most person.




What year version of the Act posted in the workplace would still be acceptable by the MOL?


The Ministry is not that picky on this point. The Act, with the most recent major amendments would be deemed acceptable.




What is the "explanatory material prepared by the MOL" and what are the issues with this?


This explanatory material is the "Prevention Starts Here" poster and should be posted in English or French. If another language is spoken by your employees, the poster is also available in 19 other languages and should be posted in the language of majority in the workplace.





OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND

SAFETY ACT (OHSA)

Would you be able to advise me on what the current mandatory "postings" required for employers by WSIB and the Ministry of Labour?


Every workplace is required to have:

  • a recent copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and applicable Regulation
  • the "Prevention Starts Here" poster, and
  • the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board "In Case of Injury at Work" poster posted.
If you employ 5 (five) or more employees you are required to have a copy of your Health and Safety Policy Statement as well as your Violence and Harassment Policy posted. Please Ensure that the most current version, not being more than one year old is posted. As of September 2016, your workplace also needs to include a “definition” of sexual harassment in its policy statement and have a program in place to prevent and investigate it. If you employ between 6 and 19 staff you are required to post the name and location of the worker health and safety representative (the one chosen by the employees who conducts your monthly workplace inspections) or if you employ more than 19 workers (i.e. 20 or more) you need to post the names of the Joint Health and Safety Committee members. In addition you are required to post the Ministry of Labour Employment Standards Poster “What you should know” Version 4. The only other material that needs to be posted is a copy of a Ministry of Labour Inspection Report, if they have been in recently to inspect your workplace. One additional posting required is your Health and Safety Policy Statement. This is the policy statement which is updated yearly and signed by your senior most person.




What year version of the Act posted in the workplace would still be acceptable by the MOL?


The Ministry is not that picky on this point. The Act, with the most recent major amendments would be deemed acceptable.




What is the "explanatory material prepared by the MOL" and what are the issues with this?


This explanatory material is the "Prevention Starts Here" poster and should be posted in English or French. If another language is spoken by your employees, the poster is also available in 19 other languages and should be posted in the language of majority in the workplace.





DEFINITIONS

Who is a worker?


​​A worker is a person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation, a secondary school student who performs work under a work experience program (co-op student), a person who performs work for no monetary compensation as a "learner" as part of a post-secondary institution.




What is a medical aid injury?


A medical aid is an injury that requires your employee to seek medical attention from a Health Care Practitioner. This can be a Doctor, Physiotherapist, Chiropractor etc. Any Health Care Professional as defined by the Health Care Professionals Act.




What is the difference between hazardous and designated substances?


Designated substances are only those 11 chemicals listed in and governed by the Designated Substances Regulation. They were chosen for designation due to the known hazards they cause when used in industry and workplaces. As they are designated, more specific controls apply to them. Hazardous chemicals are all other substances known to also have hazards yet their control of use is less prescriptive.




What is WSIA?


Workplace Safety Insurance Act (WSIA), is the Act governing the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and the benefits to workers.




What is workplace violence?


Workplace violence has been defined under the Occupational Health and Safety Act as the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, an attempt to exercise physical force or a statment or behaviour that is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against a worker accompanied by verbal or written threats. Physical attacks, such as hitting, kicking, scratching or biting are included as violent behaviour.




What is harassment?


Harassment under the Occupational Health and Safety Act is defined as vexatious comment or conduct that includes, among other things: Inappropriate comments; Distribution of discriminatory materials; Behaviour intended to incite hatred; Verbal or physical conduct of a nature which is known or ought reasonably to have been known to be unwelcome. Please remember that the grounds for discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code remain the same and include the following prohibited grounds of discrimination: race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed (religion), age, record of offences, sex (including pregnancy), family status, marital status, or disability or perceived disability.




What is sexual harassment?


Sexual harassment is defined as: (a) Engaging in a course of vexatious comments or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought to be known or unwelcome, or (b) Making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.




What is "WHMIS 2015"?


​WHMIS 2015 is the result of Canada aligning the Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS) with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). The federal component of WHMIS has come into force, however there are transition period stages.