About the Act
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) contains definitions in addition to the content under the following headings:
- Part I Application
- Part II Administration
- Part II.1 Prevention Council, Chief Prevention Officer and Designated Entities
- Part III Duties of Employers and Other Persons
- Part III.0.1 Violence and Harassment
- Part III.1 Codes of Practice
- Part IV Toxic Substances
- Part V Right to Refuse or to Stop Work Where Health or Safety in Danger
- Part VI Reprisals by Employer Prohibited
- Part VII Notices
- Part VIII Enforcement
- Part IX Offences and Penalties
- Part X Regulations
These are some of the terms more commonly used in the Act.
Any place in, on or near to where a worker works. A workplace could be a building, a mine, a construction site, an open field, a road, a forest, a vehicle or even a beach. In determining whether a place is a workplace, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) will consider questions such as: Is the worker being directed to work there?
Worker means any of the following, but does not include an inmate of a correctional institution or like institution or facility who participates inside the institution or facility in a work project or rehabilitation program:
- A person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation.
- A secondary school student who performs work or supplies services for no monetary compensation under a work experience program authorized by the school board that operates the school in which the student is enrolled.
- A person who performs work or supplies services for no monetary compensation under a program approved by a college of applied arts and technology, university or other post-secondary institution.
- Such other persons as may be prescribed who perform work or supply services to an employer for no monetary compensation.
A person who employs or contracts for the services of one or more workers. The term includes a contractor or subcontractor who performs work or supplies services and a contractor or subcontractor who undertakes with an owner, constructor, contractor, sub-contractor to perform work or supply services.
A person who undertakes a project for an owner and includes an owner who undertakes all or part of a project by himself or by more than one employer.
While the identification of a constructor is a fact-specific determination, the constructor is generally the person (such as the general contractor) who has overall control of a project. See also the publication entitled: Constructor Guideline: Health and Safety.
Prescribed means specified in regulations made under the Act.
A person, appointed by an employer, who has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker.
An owner includes a tenant, lessee, trustee, receiver, mortgagee in possession or occupier of the lands or premises. It also includes any person who acts as an agent for the owner.
A person who holds a logging licence under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994.
- Regularly Employed
This term is not defined in the OHSA. However, by policy, MLTSD has interpreted the term to mean employed for a period that exceeds three months.
- Workplace Harassment
Workplace harassment is defined in the OHSA as engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.
- Workplace Violence
Workplace violence is defined in the OHSA as the exercise or attempted exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker, or a statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker.