Health & Safety Inspector: Ensuring Workplace Safety

workplace safety inspector meets with supervisors

Sooner or later, every Ontario workplace can expect to receive a visit from a health and safety inspector.

As set out by the OHSA (Occupational Health & Safety Act) of Ontario, every workplace has an essential duty of care for the health and safety of its employees while on the job. It is also under the OHSA that the Ontario Ministry of Labour carries out workplace safety inspections to ensure that these responsibilities are met.

If workplace safety has been a priority for your organization all along, you’re probably in good shape when the health & safety inspector shows up for an inspection.

Any gaps in workplace safety are almost sure to be revealed by the safety inspector, however, so it’s best to prepare well ahead of time and ensure that you are running a safe, secure and healthy workplace well before and regardless of any visit from a health and safety inspector.

The Role & Duty of a Health & Safety Inspector

workplace safety inspector meets with supervisorsHealth and safety inspectors are employed by the province and funded by taxpayers through the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

These safety inspectors are hired and trained based on knowledge of and experience in your industry or related industries. They are required to start the job with a working knowledge of workplace safety, having a keen eye for safety hazards and threats to the health and welfare of employees in a workplace.

At their essence, a workplace health and safety inspector has been empowered by the people of Ontario (via their government) to inspect workplaces across Ontario and ensure that each one is operating well within the boundaries, restrictions, laws and regulations of workplace safety.

workplace safety inspector meets with supervisor

The safety inspector has a duty to report workplace safety deficiencies or failures in his or her findings, giving you notice to bring any workplace safety shortcomings up to par within a given period of time.

The safety inspector also has the capacity to recommend fines to companies or organizations who are in gross violation or negligence of workplace safety regulations, and/or shut down operations until these violations and/or threats to employee health and safety are rectified.

Preparing for the Safety Inspector: Ensuring Workplace Safety

While it’s been said that some health and safety inspectors might have a tendency to be on the officious side, at the end of the day it’s not their (purported) biases or “chip on the shoulder” that you should be focused on, but rather preparing well ahead of time to pass a workplace safety inspection with flying colours.

That’s why it is always our recommendation, as leaders in workplace safety training in Ottawa and across Ontario, that any organization stay ahead of the curve by taking a proactive approach to workplace safety.

  • workplace safety inspector at job siteDoes your workplace or job site currently have any threats to safety or health?
  • Is your workplace in full compliance with all Ontario Ministry of Labour workplace safety regulations and guidelines?
  • Are your employees well trained in safety?
  • Do your supervisors and managers meet their duty of care for the health & safety of their employees?
  • Has your organization done its due diligence in identifying areas for improving workplace safety and gaps to be rectified?

These are just some of the questions that you should be asking – and able to answer affirmatively – to be considered a safe workplace in Ontario… one that would stay on the right side of an Ontario workplace health & safety inspector’s report.

If these questions leave you wondering whether you’re fully meeting the Ontario Ministry of Labour workplace safety regulations, have no fear. We’re here to help.

Contact us today to find out how Advanced Consulting & Training can help strengthen your workplace safety through safety training and/or safety consulting programs.