A Who’s Who Of OH&S Responsibilities


This month, we turn our attention (and yours) to compliance. What better way to start off than to give you a basic rundown of Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) responsibilities? The elements of your safety program can only be effectively implemented if you and your workers understand your responsibilities. What you don’t know CAN hurt you!

Jurisdictional and organizational requirements will dictate specific program needs, but these basic elements should almost always be considered:

  • Joint occupational health and safety committee
  • Health and safety rules and promotion
  • Workers responsibility, orientation & training
  • Reporting, investigating, inspection, and emergency procedures
  • Medical and first aid

Health and safety responsibilities should be shared among management and workers. Carefully determining and detailing responsibilities in the safety program will help everyone understand and carry out duties. Below are some examples that will help determine who should handle what.

Management responsibilities include:

  • providing a safe and healthful workplace
  • establishing and maintaining a health and safety program
  • providing workers with health and safety information, training, and certifications
  • reporting accidents and occupational disease incidents to the appropriate authority
  • providing personal protective equipment and medical & first aid facilities
  • supporting & evaluating the health and safety performance of supervisors

Worker responsibilities include:

  • using personal protection and safety equipment as required by the employer
  • following safe work procedures
  • knowing and complying with all regulations
  • reporting injury or illness immediately
  • reporting unsafe acts or conditions
  • participating in joint health and safety committees

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