Whenever I ask this question to any level of the organization (e.g. employer, supervisor/manager, employees, joint health and safety committee), I am surprised by the level of responses and the degree of understanding. Let me share some of the responses that I have heard over the years prior to answering the question.

General responses:

–          “It’s the companies responsibility, not mine…..”

–          “We have a safety committee. I think they are responsible for it…..”

–          “Our safety department is responsible for safety….”

–          “I have no idea who is responsible….”

–          “I am the certified joint health and safety committee worker representative. I am responsible…”

–          “The Ministry of Labour or HRSDC officer is responsible……”

–          “ Everybody is responsible for safety……………”

The Internal Responsibility System (IRS) is an underlying philosophy of the occupational health and safety legislation in all Canadian jurisdictions. The IRS recognizes that the workplace parties are in the best position to know and resolve the health and safety concerns in their own workplace.

So who is responsible for safety? Safety responsibility lies in the hands of the employer, supervisor/manager and employees ! ! ! !  However, the safety department, joint health and safety committee, Ministry of Labour / HRSDC officers have important functions. If you wish to learn more, please contact us at [email protected].