According to Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), Section 1(1), a worker means “a person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation.”
Workers have certain responsibilities, outlined in Section 28 of the OHSA. In practice, these responsibilities amount to taking prescribed training and completing documentation, working in accordance with written Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and reporting hazards to the appropriate supervisor so the situation can be corrected. See below.
Duties of the Employer are explicitly defined in the OHSA, Sections 25 and 26.
To paraphrase, the employer is required to:
- acquaint workers and supervisors with an hazard associated with the work or workplace;
- take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker;
- appoint a competent supervisor;
- prescribe and provide appropriate safety equipment, materials, and protective devices;
- ensure that the safety equipment, etc., are maintained in good condition;
- ensure that prescribed safety measures are implemented and respected;
- assist the workplace health and safety committee in carrying out their duties;
- provide appropriate training to employees
This is an extensive undertaking. Responsibilities are therefore downloaded to supervisors and workers.
McMaster University’s Workplace and Environmental Health and Safety Policy (RMM 100) requires students “to comply with all University health, safety and environmental programs.”
According to OHSA, Section 1(1) Supervisor means “a person who has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker.”
In Eng Phys and the CEDT, Supervisors would include:
- Faculty who supervise graduate students, research staff, or volunteers
- Retired Faculty who supervise students, research staff, volunteers
- Laboratory Supervisors/Technicians
- Facility Directors/Managers
- Technical Staff who provide training and/or research supervision/assistance
- Office Managers
Note, supervisors are also considered workers within the University. Worker responsibilities also apply.
At McMaster, Supervisor Responsibilities are explicitly defined in the University’s RMM. In addition, EOHSS has defined certain other supervisor training and documenation obligations, which can be found on EOHSS’s own website. Eng Phys has also taken the initiative to create its own Hazard Awareness course and Hazard Assessment Form. The Eng Phys program has been in place for well over a decade.
OHSA Section 27
Must be Familiar With:
|Supervisors have certain legal obligations under the OHSA. According to Section 27, Supervisors need to:
Supervisors Must Complete the Following Documentation:
|Mandatory Supervisor Training
Training Students, Employees, Visitors*, Volunteers:
Supervisors are responsible for ensuring anyone under their supervision completes the following documentation and mandatory training (all Mandatory Supervisor Training noted above except Accident Investigation).
Site-Specific Mandatory Training
|Job Hazard Analysis
Contact Information & Lab Assessment Form (for each lab facility)
Standard Operating Procedures
*Note: Short term visitors may not be able to complete certain mandatory training due to their time restrictions. In this circumstance, supervisors retain ALL responsibility for visitor safety. Site-specific training is required and work should be limited.