News Release Archive

LABOUR--Occupational Health and Safety Program Effective Jan. 1
Labour Minister Gerald O'Malley today reminded employers with
more than 20 employees that an occupational health and safety
program is required for their workplaces by Jan. 1, 1998.

The program is part of the Occupational Health and Safety Act
adopted early this year. Each program will be adapted to
individual companies, but some aspects will be common to all in
order to comply with legal obligations and meet general health
and safety requirements. 

Some of the main points are:

-the employer will establish and maintain a written program in
consultation with the occupational health and safety committee or
safety representative in the workplace

-provisions for the training and supervision of employees

-provisions for the development of written work procedures, where
they are required, to implement safe and healthy work practices

-a system to identify, assess and control hazards

-support to maintain a joint occupational health and safety
committee or an occupational health and safety representative

-a system to keep all records concerning health and safety

-periodic audit and assessment of the program.
"Employers and employees were given a year to create specific
programs because each workplace is unique and we recognized it
would take time to create programs that would complement
individual work areas," said Mr. O'Malley. 

"This program is meant to serve the people of individual
workplaces in the province. I see this as a creative way to
address concerns. It can also result in management and employees
working closely together to ensure safety."

Mr. O'Malley said his goal is to achieve 100 per cent compliance
with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and this is one more
way of reaching that goal. 

Violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act are subject
to fines up to $250,000 and two years in jail. 


Contact: John Whidden    
         Department of Labour

sab                      Dec. 29, 1997           11:00 a.m.