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Deadline Approaching: On October 1, MOL Inspectors Begin Enforcing Obligation to Post Ontario’s New Safety Poster

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On October 1, 2012, Ontario Ministry of Labour inspectors will begin enforcing employers’ legal obligation to post the MOL’s new safety poster.

In a June 2012 post, we reported that The Ontario Ministry of Labour had released the safety poster and that although employers were legally required to post it immediately, the MOL said that it would not being enforcing this obligation until October 1st.

The poster, which is available in 17 languages, is called “Health and Safety at Work – Prevention Starts Here”. It may be downloaded and printed from the MOL’s website (click here). 

Section 25(1)(i) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires employers to “post, in the workplace, a copy of this Act and any explanatory material prepared by the Ministry, both in English and the majority language of the workplace, outlining the rights, responsibilities and duties of workers”.  The MOL states that the poster is such “explanatory material prepared by the Ministry”, and therefore it must be posted.

On its website, the MOL says, “The poster summarizes workers’ health and safety rights and responsibilities and the responsibilities of employers and supervisors. It also reminds employers that they must not take action against workers for following the act or for raising workplace health and safety concerns, and seeking enforcement of the OHSA. The poster encourages workers to get involved in health and safety and explains when and why to contact the Ministry of Labour.”

The poster also sets out a toll-free number for employees to call the MOL.

Ontario employers should put up the poster now.  Inspectors will look for it when they arrive at workplaces.  By posting the poster, employers send a signal to MOL inspectors that they are on keeping on top of health and safety law developments.