Our inspectors conduct proactive visits to:
They conduct reactive visits in response to a:
Proactive workplace visits are typically unannounced.
When inspectors arrive at workplaces, they may ask to speak with:
The inspector may also ask to see a worker health and safety representative or a joint health and safety committee member.
The inspector may check that all documentation required under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) is in place and displayed in an area accessible by all workers. These documents include:
The inspector may also request to see other documentation as required by law (for example, proof of training). After this, the inspector may examine the workplace to determine if workplace parties are complying with the OHSA and its regulations.
Throughout the year, we conduct health and safety inspection initiatives that focus on specific hazards, sectors or health and safety topics.
Before inspection initiatives start, we work with health and safety associations to raise awareness and provide resources, training and education to workplace parties (for example, employers, labour associations and workers) on the initiative’s focus.
During an initiative, an inspector may focus on initiative-related issues as well as general compliance with the OHSA.
Employers can prepare for initiatives by:
Once we are notified, we will assign an inspector who will respond to the report.
No one should change or disturb the accident scene before an inspector gives permission to do so.
The inspector may:
The inspector may identify hazards and issue orders, which the workplace parties must address to prevent this type of incident from happening again.
Once the investigation is complete, the inspector may recommend that charges be laid when there has been a violation of the OHSA related to a worker fatality or injury.
Inspectors also visit workplaces in response to complaints and work refusals.
Inspectors enforce the OHSA and its regulations. They may be accompanied by other specialists, such as engineers, hygienists, doctors, ergonomists, infection control consultants, radiation experts and a psychologist.
Inspectors have many legal powers to enforce compliance with the OHSA to support worker health and safety.
An inspector may enter any workplace without a warrant or notice for an inspection.
The law requires you to allow inspectors entry into a workplace so they can conduct an inspection.
Once an inspector has begun a workplace inspection, they can:
To review all the powers of an inspector, please read Part VIII of the Guide to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
All new inspectors complete a nine-month program of classroom and field training with an experienced inspector.
They also receive training on health and safety issues in specific sectors.
Inspectors are trained to recognize signs of human trafficking and may refer concerns to the appropriate authorities. If you or anyone you know might be at risk of human trafficking, call the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010. Learn more about human trafficking, including where to find help near you.
To make sure workplace parties follow the law, inspectors may issue:
“Compliance orders” are issued when they identify violations of the law. Employers must address those violations.
Where there is an immediate risk of worker injury, an inspector will issue a “stop work” order to stop work until the hazard is addressed.
The inspector will also give the employer or constructor a Notice of Compliance form along with the orders.
The employer or constructor must:
At the end of the field visit, the inspector will give the employer a written field visit report that summarizes their findings.
The employer must post a copy of the report in the workplace and give a copy to the health and safety representative or joint health and safety committee.
If a workplace does not follow an inspector’s orders, charges may be laid.
An easy and simple way for businesses to interact with us is through our Health and Safety Contact Centre. We can provide information about:
The contact information for our Health and Safety Contact Centre can also be found at the bottom of the workplace visit report you received. A manager will contact you to help resolve any concerns.
Under the OHSA, any employer, constructor, licensee, owner, worker or trade union who is affected by the decision of an inspector may appeal.
To file an appeal, contact the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) within 30 days of the order’s issue date.
During the appeal, the OLRB: