The Ontario Ministry of Labour has announced that employers can now obtain a free new workplace poster entitled “Health & Safety at Work – Prevention Starts Here.” The new poster must be posted in the workplace and the Ministry has announced that inspectors will begin enforcing this requirement effective October 1, 2012. pubs/posterinfo.php

The new poster outlines workers’ health and safety rights and responsibilities as well as the responsibilities of employers and supervisors under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). It was created as part of the Ministry of Labour Expert Advisory Panel’s recommendations released in December 2010.

Under the OHSA, employers are required to post a copy of the Act and any explanatory material prepared by the Ministry. The new poster is part of such explanatory material and must be posted.

The Ministry has confi rmed that the poster is available online in 17 languages in PDF format. It can be downloaded and printed in black and white, or in colour, and must be at least 8.5 x 11 inches. Employers can download the new poster at Poster: Health & Safety At Work - Prevention Starts Here.

A limited number of posters are also available through the Ministry of Labour’s health and safety partners in English and French, including:

Health and Safety Ontario

Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers

Workers Health & Safety Centre

Employers are encouraged to ensure that a copy of the new poster is posted in the workplace as soon as possible in order to avoid potential enforcement for non-compliance. Enforcement by the Ministry of Labour may result in the receipt of compliance orders and/or potential prosecution under the OHSA, which carries a potential penalty of $500,000 for corporations upon conviction.