In response to the recommendations of an Expert Advisory panel commissioned to review Ontario’s occupational health and safety system, the Ministry of Labour published a new workplace poster titled“Health & Safety at Work – Prevention Starts Here” on June 1, 2012. The poster is free and is available online in English, French, and 15 other languages.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1 (“Act”) requires that employers post in the workplace a copy of the Act and any explanatory material (i.e., this poster) prepared by the Ministry, both in English and the majority language of the workplace, outlining the rights, responsibilities and duties of workers. Inspectors will be enforcing this requirement to display the new poster effective October 1, 2012.

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 Act. The poster encourages workers to get involved in health and safety and explains when and why to contact the Ministry of Labour.

The poster may be printed in black and white or in colour, but the Ministry of Labour requires that it be posted in print size of at least 8.5 x 11 inches.

Employers are well advised to print and post the poster immediately upon reading this communiqué if they have not already done so. To obtain a copy of the poster, follow the link below to the Ministry of Labour’s website:

http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/pubs/poster_prevention.php#download