Overview

If you are an employer or constructor in a workplace covered by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) you may need to report to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development if there has been a workplace incident or illness, including those resulting in:

  • death
  • injury
  • occupational illness

This page provides information on the reporting requirements you need to know (under Part VII – Notices (sections 51 to 53.1) of the OHSA and in Ontario Regulation 420/21 - Notices and Reports Under Sections 51 to 53.1 of the Act – Fatalities, Critical Injuries, Occupational Illnesses and Other Incidents (O. Reg. 420/21).

If someone is killed or critically injured

Always call 911 in an emergency.

  • Notify the ministry, health and safety committee/representative and union

If someone is killed or critically injured at the workplace, as the employer or the constructor (if the workplace is a construction project) you must immediately notify:

  • the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development's Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008 (operates 24/7)
  • the joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative
  • the union (if there is one)

You must do this even if the person is not a worker, where the fatality or critical injury occurred where a worker was working or might reasonably be expected to work and there is a reasonable connection between the hazard that led to the death or critical injury and worker health and safety. How to decide when to report a critical injury or death of a non-worker.

Do not disturb the scene

You must make sure that you don’t disturb the scene of the incident unless it is for a limited purpose specified in subsection 51(2) of the OHSA.

Written report

As the employer, you must provide a written report within 48 hours to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development about the incident. O. Reg. 420/21 sets out specific information that must be included in the written report. Our form allows you to submit all the required information.

Learn how to submit a written report.

How to know if an injury is critical

As defined in O. Reg. 420/21, an injury is "critical" if it is an injury of a serious nature that:

  • places life in jeopardy
  • produces unconsciousness
  • results in substantial loss of blood
  • involves the fracture of a leg or arm, but not a finger or toe
  • involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot but not a finger or toe
  • consists of burns to a major portion of the body
  • causes the loss of sight in an eye

The ministry considers the leg to include an ankle or foot and the arm to include a wrist or hand.

Although the regulation specifies that the fracture or amputation of a single finger or toe is not a critical injury, a fracture or amputation of more than one finger or toe is considered to be a critical injury.

How to decide when to report a critical injury or death of a non-worker

Where a non-worker is killed or critically injured, as an employer, you should determine:

  • if the death or critical injury occurred where a worker was working or might reasonably be expected to work, and
  • if there is a reasonable connection between the hazard that caused the incident and a realistic risk to worker health and safety

If the answer to both of the above is yes, you need to report.

Examples of incidents you need to report

The following are several examples of incidents requiring you to report:

  • patron in a store is critically injured by a falling display rack
  • a person entering a hospital is killed because of ice falling from the hospital roof
  • teacher or parent entering a school slips on an icy school step and breaks a leg
  • worker loses consciousness after working outdoors in hot weather

Examples of incidents you don’t need to report

The following are examples of incidents not requiring you to report:

  • student at an elementary school falls off the monkey bars during recess and fractures her wrist
  • client in a retirement home dies due to complications related to a known, ongoing medical condition
  • patron at a ski hill falls while skiing and fractures their leg

Not disturbing the scene

Subsection 51(2) of the OHSA prohibits anyone from disturbing the scene except for limited purposes. This means that you must make sure that no one interferes with, disturbs, destroys, alters or carries away anything at the scene or connected to the workplace death or critical injury, unless:

  • it is necessary to do so to:
    • save life or relieve human suffering
    • maintain an essential public utility service or a public transportation system
    • prevent unnecessary damage to equipment or other property
  • a Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development inspector gives you permission to do so

If a person is injured and unable to do their usual work or requires medical attention

As the employer, you must submit a written notification if a person is injured and unable to do their usual work or requires medical attention because of an accident, explosion, fire or incident of workplace violence.

Submit the notification to the:

  • joint health and safety committee or the health and safety representative
  • union (if there is one)

The written notification must be given within four days of the incident. You don’t need to submit it to the ministry unless an inspector requires it.

Learn how to submit a written notice

If an injury required medical attention

“Medical attention” means treatment by a legally qualified medical practitioner (a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario) or Nurse Practitioner. It does not include treatment from any other regulated health professions like chiropractors, physiotherapists or naturopaths.

If a worker has an occupational illness

You must submit a written notice if you are an employer and are advised that a worker (current or former) either:

  • has an occupational illness
  • has filed a claim for an occupational illness with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board

You must submit the written notice within four days of being advised, to:

  • the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development
  • the joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative
  • the union (if there is one)

Learn how to submit a written notice

What is an occupational illness?

Occupational illness can look the same as other illnesses or diseases. It is defined in section 1 of the OHSA.

Learn what you need to know as a worker, employer or health care professional.

If there is an incident at a construction site, mine, or diving operation or an incident related to X-ray safety

Even if no one is injured, the employer or constructor may be required to submit a written notice within two days after the incident if there has been an incident at a:

  • construction project
  • mine or mining plant
  • diving operation
  • workplace subject to Regulation 861 (X-ray Safety)

Submit the written notice to:

  • the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development
  • the joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative
  • the union (if there is one)

Learn how to submit a written notice

How to know if an incident requires notification

O. Reg. 420/21 includes the circumstances that require reporting an incident that occurred to a worker:

Construction projects

If you are the constructor on a construction project where O. Reg. 213/91 –Construction Projects applies, you must report if:

  • there is an accident, premature or unexpected explosion, fire, flood or inrush of water, cave-in, subsidence or rockburst
  • there is a failure of any equipment, machine, device, article or thing occurs that could have posed a risk to worker life, health or safety
  • a worker falls a vertical distance of three metres or more
  • a worker falls and the fall is arrested by a fall arrest system other than a fall restricting system
  • a worker becomes unconscious for any reason
  • there is accidental contact by a worker or by a worker’s tool or equipment with energized electrical equipment, installations or conductors
  • there is accidental contact by a crane, similar hoisting device, backhoe, power shovel or other vehicle or equipment or its load with an energized electrical conductor rated at more than 750 volts
  • there is a structural failure of all or part of falsework designed by, or required by O. Reg. 213/91 – Construction Projects, to be designed by a professional engineer
  • there is a structural failure of a principal supporting member, including a column, beam, wall or truss, of a structure
  • there is a failure of all or part of the structural supports of a scaffold
  • there is a structural failure of all or part of an earth-or water-retaining structure, including a failure of the temporary or permanent supports for a shaft, tunnel, caisson, cofferdam or trench
  • there is a failure of a wall of an excavation or of similar earthwork with respect to which a professional engineer has given a written opinion that the stability of the wall is such that no worker will be endangered by it
  • there is an overturning or the structural failure of all or part of a crane or similar hoisting device

Mines or mining plants

If you are the employer in a mine or mining plant where Regulation 854 – Mines and Mining Plants applies, you must report if:

  • there is an accident, premature or unexpected explosion, fire, flood or inrush of water, cave-in, subsidence or rockburst
  • there is a failure of any equipment, machine, device, article or thing occurs that could have posed a risk to worker life, health or safety
  • a failure occurs in or to a hoist, sheave, hoisting rope, shaft conveyance, shaft timbering or shaft lining
  • flammable gas is present in a workplace in an underground mine
  • spontaneous heating with evolution of gas occurs in a workplace
  • a major failure or major damage occurs or is caused to electrical equipment, standard gauge railroad equipment, a crane or a motor vehicle underground
  • a rockburst occurs causing damage to equipment or the displacement of more than five tonnes of material
  • an uncontrolled fall of ground occurs causing damage to equipment or the displacement of more than fifty tonnes of material
  • a fuse, a detonator or an explosive is found to be defective
  • a structural failure occurs in any matter or thing for which a design by a professional engineer is prescribed by Regulation 854 – Mines and Mining Plants
  • an unexpected and uncontrolled run of material, water or slimes in excess of one cubic metre occurs that could have endangered a worker

Diving operations

If you are the employer at a diving operation where O. Reg. 629/94 – Diving Operations applies, you must report if:

  • a diver becomes trapped underwater
  • a diver fails to comply with the decompression requirements prescribed by O. Reg. 629/94 – Diving Operations
  • there is a failure of any diving equipment posing a risk to the health or safety of a diver
  • there is an emergency rescue of a diver in a submersible compression chamber or atmospheric diving system
  • there is an emergency use of a recompression chamber
  • a person becomes unconscious
  • a diver suffers from decompression sickness

Radiation exposure from an X-ray source

If you are the employer at a workplace with an X-ray source where Regulation 861 – X-ray Safety applies, you must report if:

  • a worker received a dose equivalent in excess of the annual limits set out in Column 4 of the Schedule in Regulation 861 – X-ray Safety in a period of three months
  • there was an accident, failure of any X-ray source, or other incident that may have resulted in a worker receiving a dose equivalent in excess of the annual limits set out in Column 3 of the Schedule in Regulation 861

Requirement for an engineer's report

Section 53.1 of the OHSA, allows for additional notice requirements if prescribed in regulation, in addition to a report or notice under sections 51, 52 or 53 of the OHSA. Section 5 of O. Reg. 420/21 specifies when a constructor or employer must provide a professional engineer’s written opinion stating the cause of the occurrence. This must be provided within 14 days of the occurrence if,

  • the incident occurs at a construction project and involves a failure of all or part of any of the following:
    • temporary or permanent works
    • a structure
    • a wall of an excavation or of similar earthwork for which a professional engineer has given written opinion that the stability of the wall is such that no worker will be endangered by it
    • a crane or similar hoisting device
  • the incident occurs at a health care or residential facility and involves the collapse or failure of a temporary or permanent structure that was designed by a professional engineer or architect
  • the incident occurs during window cleaning and involves the collapse or failure of a temporary or permanent structure that was designed by a professional engineer

Submit a written report or notice

You can submit a written report or notice using our online form or create and submit your own written report or notice. Note that O. Reg. 420/21 sets out specific information that must be included for certain incidents. Our form allows you to submit the legally required information. If making your own report or notice please refer to the regulation.

Immediate notification is still required when someone is killed or critically injured at the workplace.

Use our online form

  1. Download and complete the online form.
    Be sure to save the PDF of the form to your computer and open it with the free Adobe Reader.

  2. Save your completed form.


  3. Submit your form. Use the submit button at the bottom of the form to send it to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. If you are reporting that a person is disabled from doing their usual work or required medical attention (OHSA section 52(1)) you don’t need to submit to the ministry unless an inspector requires it. Just email your completed form to submit it to the the joint heath and safety committee and union, if there is one.

  4. Where required, share copies of your completed form with:

    • your joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative
    • the union (if there is one)
  5. Save a copy of the completed form for your records.

    As the employer or constructor, you must retain a copy of a written report/written notification made for at least three years.

Create and submit your own report or notice

If you prefer, you can prepare your own report or notice with the information required by O. Reg. 420/21 and mail or fax it to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development regional office closest to the workplace where the incident occurred.

Make sure the letter or fax is addressed to, “Attention: Director.”

As the employer or constructor, you must retain a copy of a written report or notification made for at least three years.

When an engineer's report is required

A constructor or employer who gives a report or notice under sections 51, 52 or 53 of the OHSA is required to provide a professional engineer’s written opinion stating the cause of the occurrence within 14 days of the occurrence if,

  • the incident occurs at a construction project and involves a failure of all or part of any of the following:
    • temporary or permanent works
    • a structure
    • a wall of an excavation or of similar earthwork for which a professional engineer has given written opinion that the stability of the wall is such that no worker will be endangered by it
    • a crane or similar hoisting device
  • the incident occurs at a health care or residential facility and involves the collapse or failure of a temporary or permanent structure that was designed by a professional engineer or architect
  • the incident occurs during window cleaning and involves the collapse or failure of a temporary or permanent structure that was designed by a professional engineer

How to submit an engineer’s report

If you used our online form to submit a written report or notice of the incident, send the engineer's report to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development health and safety contact centre referencing the confirmation number for your online notice.

If you created your own written report or notice, send the engineer's report to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development office that received your initial written report or notice.

Updated: September 16, 2021
Published: August 29, 2018