Health and Safety Representative

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Health and Safety Representative

Health and Safety Representative training provides learners with a forum to discover the key concepts of occupational health and safety, to provide updates regarding legislation, codes, and standards, and to discuss best practices and challenges. Topics include an overview of key concepts from JHSC Part One and Part Two Training, updates to legislation, standards, codes of practice and occupational health and safety best practices; and an opportunity for certified members to share and discuss best practices.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act details when a Health and Safety Representative is required at a project or other workplace where no committee is required under section 9 and where the number of workers regularly exceeds five, the constructor or employer shall cause the workers to select at least one health and safety representative from among the workers at the workplace who do not exercise managerial functions.

Frequently Asked Questions

According to Ontario’s Health and Safety Act (OHSA), health and safety representatives have many responsibilities such as:

  • Regularly inspecting the workplace and identifying potential health and safety hazards
  • Being consulted with and being present at health and safety related testing
  • Making suggestions and recommendations to the employer about health and safety issues in the workplace
  • Participating in work refusal investigations
  • Inspecting the site of workplace injuries or fatalities
  • Obtaining accurate health and safety information from the employer
Having a health and safety representative at your workplace is a legal requirement for most companies – but there are benefits beyond complying with safety legislation. Health and Safety Representatives play a very important role in representing your workers in relation to health and safety methods. When a company has a properly trained health and safety representative, health and safety outcomes are improved. Having a safe workplace free from accidents and injuries is not only beneficial to your workers’ health and safety, it also improves your bottom line. Injuries, illnesses, and workplace deaths are extremely costly to businesses, especially when they could have been prevented by proper health and safety procedures.
If your workplace requires a health and safety representative, they must be chosen by workers who do not exercise any managerial functions. The health and safety representative themselves also must not have a management position. In workplaces with a union, the workers in the union choose the health and safety representative.
Most workplaces require a health and safety representative. If your workplace has between 1 and 5 workers, a health and safety representative is not mandated however it is beneficial. The exception to this rule is if there is a designated substance regulation for your workplace, in which case you are required to have a health and safety representative. For all workplaces with 6 or more workers, a health and safety representative is required.
While the province does not mandate that health and safety representatives undergo specific training, It is strongly recommended that they do. Proper training – such as this Health and Safety Representative course – ensures that health and safety representatives are able to understand and properly exercise their duties, making the workplace safer. A safe workplace is an efficient workplace, and Health and Safety Representative training is one important way you can improve workplace safety.