Does your workplace have a system in place to navigate legislated occupational health and safety obligations?
Given the overlapping roles and responsibilities under the legislation with respect to occupational health and safety, it is critical for employers to establish clear lines of accountability to effectively manage occupational health and safety risks, incidents and complaints.
Employer and Supervisor Responsibilities
Employers and supervisors each have related and overlapping responsibilities related to ensuring the health and safety of workers. For example, employers have a general obligation under subsection 3-8(a) of The Saskatchewan Employment Act to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all the employer’s workers, insofar is reasonably practicable. Correspondingly, supervisors have a general obligation under subsection 3-9(b) to ensure the health and safety at work of all workers who work under the supervisor’s direct supervision and direction, insofar as is reasonably practicable.
Occupational Health and Safety Committees
Many employers are also required to establish an occupational health and safety committee at their place of employment. These committees also play an important role in regulating occupational health and safety at the workplace. For example, their legislative duties include:
- Participating in identifying workplace hazards
- Establishing, promoting and recommending occupational health and safety education for workers
- Receiving and resolving matters respecting the health and safety of workers
- Investigating dangerous work refusals
Complaints and Remedies
Occupational health committees, occupational health and safety representatives or occupational health and safety officers can raise complaints regarding occupational health and safety in the workplace. Complaints can lead to investigations, notices of contravention/orders, offences, fines and other liability. It is important for employers to take prompt action where occupational health and safety complaints are involved.
Learn More at Our Saskatchewan Employment Law Webinar
To learn more, join on us on January 19, 2023 for our SK Top 10 Employment Law Topics Every Employer Should Understand webinar, which will include a presentation on occupational health and safety obligations. We will cover employer and supervisor responsibilities, occupational health and safety committees and occupational complaints and remedies.