Working with hazardous materials can be dangerous and pose a threat to workers, the public, and the environment. In Ontario, the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) sets out the rules and regulations for managing hazardous materials in the workplace.
What is the OHSA?
The OHSA is a provincial law that sets out the rights and duties of all parties in the workplace with respect to occupational health and safety. The OHSA applies to all workers, employers, supervisors, and other workplace parties in Ontario.
What are hazardous materials?
Hazardous materials, also known as hazardous substances, are substances that are dangerous or potentially harmful to human health or the environment. Examples of hazardous materials include chemicals, biological agents, and radioactive materials.
How do I know if a material is hazardous?
The OHSA requires employers to determine if a material is hazardous and to inform workers if it is. Employers must also provide workers with information about the hazardous properties of the material, as well as the measures that have been put in place to protect workers from its harmful effects.
What are my rights and responsibilities as a worker?
As a worker, you have the right to know about the hazardous materials you may be exposed to on the job. You also have the right to refuse work that you believe is dangerous to your health or safety. If you have any concerns about hazardous materials in your workplace, you should raise them with your supervisor or employer.
Under the OHSA, you also have a duty to take reasonable care to protect your own health and safety, as well as the health and safety of others who may be affected by your actions. This means that you must follow any procedures and protocols that have been put in place to manage hazardous materials in your workplace.
What are my rights and responsibilities as an employer?
As an employer, you have the right to expect your workers to follow the procedures and protocols that have been put in place to manage hazardous materials in your workplace. You also have the right to take disciplinary action against workers who do not follow these procedures.
Under the OHSA, you also have a duty to protect the health and safety of your workers. This means that you must ensure that hazardous materials are properly stored, handled, and disposed of in your workplace. You must also provide your workers with the information, training, and equipment they need to work safely with hazardous materials.
Managing hazardous materials in Ontario is governed by the OHSA. Both workers and employers have rights and responsibilities when it comes to protecting the health and safety of workers and the public. It is important for all parties to be aware of these rights and responsibilities and to follow the rules and regulations set out in the OHSA.