Ontario’s occupational health and safety system is committed to creating an excellent health and safety culture.

Safe At Work Ontario is a Ministry of Labour initiative to increase awareness and support compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The act and its regulations are designed to keep workers safe and healthy.

The OHSA sets out the health and safety requirements for workplaces across Ontario and Safe At Work Ontario helps promote safe and healthy workplace practices.

Safe At Work Ontario is a compliance support strategy. It consists of:

  • stakeholder engagement to help shape Ontario’s occupational health and safety compliance support strategy
  • annual sector enforcement plans
  • health and safety initiatives conducted by occupational health and safety inspectors in workplaces based on the annual enforcement plans
  • other proactive visits that focus on key hazards in the workplace
  • public reporting of health and safety initiative results on our website and in our annual report.

Occupational health and safety inspectors visit workplaces to provide information and conduct inspections to ensure they are complying with health and safety legislation. If a workplace is not in compliance, the inspector may issue an order and the employer must correct the problem within a certain time. If the problem poses an immediate threat to worker health and safety, the inspector will issue a stop work order, which means that work stops until the problem is corrected.

In addition to the proactive visits that are the focus of Safe At Work Ontario, ministry inspectors also conduct reactive visits to investigate any health and safety incidents in the workplace.

Proactive visits are unannounced inspections conducted to:

  • monitor compliance with occupational health and safety legislation
  • promote the internal responsibility system
  • advise workplace parties of their rights, duties and responsibilities
  • discuss requirements of the OHSA

Reactive visits are inspections conducted to investigate a fatality, critical injury, work refusal, complaint, occupational disease or other health and safety related event in the workplace.