Employer Health and Safety Responsibilities and Accountabilities


Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), key responsibilities of Forward Signs Inc’s (FSI) President include:

  • Providing equipment, materials and protective devices (e.g. guards on machines, personal protective equipment, etc.) that are maintained and are in good condition.
  • Ensuring equipment, materials and protective devices are used properly and in a safe manner.
  • Providing information, instruction and supervision to employees to protect the health and safety of employees.
  • Appointing competent, qualified supervisors.
  • Providing (upon request), in a medical emergency, information in the possession of the employer, including confidential business information to a legally qualified medical practitioner, and to such other persons as may be required by law.
  • Providing all employees with training with regards to all health and safety policies and procedures for FSI.
  • Acquainting an employee or a person in authority over an employee with any hazard in the workplace and in the handling, storage, use, disposal and transport of any article, device, equipment or a biological, chemical or physical agent.
  • Affording assistance and cooperation to the Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC) in the carrying out of their functions.
  • Only employing a worker over the prescribed age.
  • Not knowingly permitting in or about the workplace anyone under the prescribed age.
  • Taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of an employee, including circumstances involving domestic violence that would likely expose an employee to physical injury in the workplace.
  • Providing to the JHSC the results of a report relating to occupational health and safety (including written copies of the relevant portions if available). The employer must also advise employees of the results of a report and, if the report is in writing, make available on request copies of the portions concerning occupational health and safety.
  • Responding in writing within 21 days to any health and safety recommendations submitted by the JHSC.
  • Posting a copy of the OHSA, pertinent regulations and any explanatory material prepared by the Ministry in an accessible workplace location. The items posted are to be in English and the majority language of the workplace, and it is to outline the rights, responsibilities and duties of employees.
  • Posting and annually reviewing and re-posting a signed copy of the FSI health and safety policy in an accessible workplace location.
  • Posting and reviewing the violence and harassment policy on an annual basis and ensuring that the policy in an accessible workplace location.
  • Develop and maintain a workplace violence and harassment program annually.
  • At least annually, conducting a workplace risk assessment related to violence and implementing necessary controls and to advise and provide a copy of the assessment to the JHSC.
  • In partnership with the Health and Safety Coordinator (H&SC), developing and maintaining and reviewing, at least annually, a health and safety system to implement FSI’s health and safety policy.
  • Accurately keeping, maintaining and making available to workers affected all records of handling, storage, use and disposal of biological, chemical or physical agents as prescribed.
  • Notifying an MOL Director of the use or introduction into a workplace of such biological, chemical or physical agents as may be prescribed.
  • Monitoring the levels of biological, chemical or physical agents in the workplace and keeping posted records as necessary.
  • Ensuring that the workplace meets all standards limiting the exposure of an employee to biological, chemical or physical agents.
  • If required, establishing a medical surveillance program and providing for safety-related medical examinations and tests for employees as prescribed.
  • Where prescribed, providing an employee with written instructions as to the measures and procedures taken for their own protection, and carrying out such training programs for workers, supervisors and committee members as needed.
  • Ensuring that all workplace structures meet any standards outlined in the Building Code Act and prescribed by the Ministry of Labour.

Other Responsibilities Include (recommended best practice) :

  • Conducting a formal workplace inspection at least twice a year
  • Identifying substandard acts or conditions and taking necessary steps to ensure corrective action.
  • Ensuring that all scheduled health and safety training sessions are carried out and completed according to the training timetable.
  • Creating a work environment that is free from violence and harassment in the workplace.
  • Conducting Incident Investigations and reviewing all forms and ensuring these are discussed at management meetings.
  • Actively commending employee and supervisor health and safety performance when it meets or exceeds expectations.
  • Observing employee safe work practices during bi-annual workplace inspections.
  • Annually review the responsibilities of the supervisors/managers and employees.
  • Establish inclement weather policy for staff travelling on company business.(SOP 13.43 for Safe Driving )

Supervisor/Manager Responsibilities

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), Supervisors/Managers are required to ensure that:

  • Employees work in the manner and with the protective devices, measures and procedures required by the OHSA and regulations (e.g. wearing safety shoes, confining hair, jewelry or loose clothing around moving parts, etc).
  • Employees use or wear the equipment, protective devices or clothing required by Forward Signs Inc.(FSI)
  • Employees are advised of the existence of any potential or actual danger to their health or safety of which the supervisor is aware.
  • Where prescribed, employees are provided with written instructions as to the measures and procedures to be taken for their protection.
  • Every precaution reasonable in the circumstances is taken for the protection of an employee.

Other Responsibilities include:

  • Employees are provided with and sign appropriate job descriptions.
  • Supporting a safe work environment that is free from any violence or harassment.
  • Reinforcing and demonstrating a positive “health and safety” attitude and working climate and holding information sessions at least monthly with staff on health and safety issues (e.g. safety policies and procedures)
  • Showing interest and involvement in the organization’s health and safety performance.
  • Upholding safety rules and procedures and supporting enforcement, including disciplinary action. (See 2.1.6 and SOP 7509-01 for Installation Department in ISO program)
  • Developing a working relationship with JHSC members (or HS Representative) and supporting their role.
  • Performing informal workplace inspections daily and formal workplace inspections quarterly.
  • Making every reasonable attempt to resolve any employee health and safety concerns.
  • Conducting Incident Investigations and reviewing all forms and ensuring these are discussed at management meetings.
  • Ensuring employees are trained in safe work practices and job safety requirements associated with a particular job process and providing written instructions where appropriate (See SOP 7553-01, 7550-01, 7601-01).
  • Correcting any substandard or unsafe acts or any unsafe conditions.
  • Reporting, investigating, and properly documenting all incidents and injuries to employees and guests, as well as any property damage or loss of process (see 10.0).
  • Ensuring that a maintenance program for any equipment and machinery in the workplace is carried out (see 09).
  • Implementing emergency plans when necessary and ensuring that employees have been properly trained to comply.
  • Informing superiors of any known occupational health and safety concerns.
  • Regularly evaluating employee performance and providing periodic feedback with respect to health and safety.
  • Commending employees for exemplary health and safety practices.
  • Performing observations of employee safe work practices during quarterly workplace inspections.
  • Review the responsibilities of the employees.
  • Ensuring MTO requirements are met for licensing commencial vehicles
    • See MTO training manual.

Employee and/or Supplied Labour Responsibilities

Supervisors/Managers are responsible for ensuring that employees work safely and therefore must be familiar with the employee’s duties under both the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and Forward Signs Inc’s (FSI) internal health and safety policies and procedures.

Under the OHSA, employee and/or supplied labour responsibilities include the following:

  • Working in compliance with the provisions of the OHSA, regulations and internal policies and procedures.
  • Using or wearing the equipment, protective devices or clothing that FSI requires.
  • Reporting to his or her supervisor any missing or defective equipment or protective device which could endanger any person.
  • Reporting to his or her supervisor the absence of or defect in any equipment or protective device of which they are aware of, and any contravention of the OHSA, regulations, or FSI policies and procedures.
  • Reporting any observed hazards to the supervisor.
  • Reporting any risks or potential risks of violence or harassment encountered in the workplace immediately to supervisor.
  • Not removing or making ineffective any protective device without providing an adequate temporary substitute.
  • Not using or operating any equipment, machine, device or thing or otherwise working in a manner that may endanger anyone.
  • Not engaging in any prank, contest, feat of strength, unnecessary running or rough and boisterous conduct.

Other Forward Signs Inc Employee Responsibilities:

  • Knowing, understanding and implementing safe work practices and procedures.
  • Knowing, understanding and employing established rules and procedures for handling materials, equipment and processes (e.g. reporting unlabelled containers, using proper lifting techniques, etc).
  • Requesting that worn out or defective equipment be replaced.
  • Using all safety devices provided, ensuring optimum condition of devices and reporting any defects immediately to a supervisor.
  • Using equipment and materials only in the manner intended.
  • Carrying out repairs, alterations and processing changes only when authorized.
  • Reporting all injuries, incidents and unusual conditions immediately to supervisor (See SOP 7507-01 for Installers).
  • Inspecting work area and equipment daily and reporting and documenting any hazards immediately to supervisor.
  • Attending all required health and safety training programs (e.g. WHMIS, orientation), and applying knowledge to daily operating procedures at FSI.
  • Following company rules and safe driving practices when travelling using company or own vehicles to/from worksites (See SOP for Safe driving)

Contractor Responsibilities

Any contractor/sub-contractor performing work for Forward Signs Inc (FSI) is expected to follow the policies and procedures outlined in the following documentation:

  • Contractor responsibilities letter entitled Contractor Safety Practices.
  • Contractor responsibilities form entitled Health and Safety Policies for Contractors and Subcontractors.
  • Contractor responsibilities form entitled Contractor General Safety Work Permit.

FSI will communicate the process and relevant emergency response procedures to all contractors. The contractor will be expected to sign the documentation as required and a copy will remain with FSI.

Any contractor who fails to perform the work in the manner outlined in these documents will be held accountable, and if necessary will be removed from the work site.

Other Contractor/Subcontractor responsibilities shall include:

  • Ensuring the health and safety of the employees.
  • Providing qualified workers for the work to be performed.

Ensuring that all work that is performed is in accordance with all governing legislative and industrial standards.

Visitors Responsibilities

This policy will provide protection to employees, visitors and customers alike, since visitor activities are controlled by Forward Signs Inc (FSI) to prevent workplace related injuries and illnesses.

  • All visitors must sign in upon arrival. This can be done at Reception Area.
  • All visitors must sign out when leaving.
  • All visitors must be escorted by a FSI employee.
  • All visitors must wear applicable personal protective equipment, as prescribed by FSI and/or the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), and its regulations.
  • All visitors must remain in designated areas.
  • All visitors must immediately report any illness or injury suffered while at FSI.

Employee Responsibilities for Visitors

All visitors must be under the immediate supervision and control of a FSI Employee. It is the responsibility of the FSI employee to ensure that the visitor abides by these responsibilities. If a visitor refuses to abide by these responsibilities, then the employee or their supervisor will ask him/her to leave immediately and may bar re-entry in the future.

Any infractions will be reported immediately to the Health and Safety Coordinator (H&SC), who will then be responsible for informing the President. The H&SC will complete an Incident Report, with the assistance of the FSI employee who was escorting the visitor at the time.

Accountability System Disciplinary Policy


To outline the procedures to effectively and fairly discipline employees and managers at Forward Signs Inc. (FSI)


If any employee at FSI flagrantly or willingly disregards the policies, procedures or standard established at FSI, they will be subject to the appropriate disciplinary measures, as outlined in this policy and procedures below.

Safe driving, reporting and record keeping rules for drivers using company vehicles are outlined in the SOP 13.43 for safe Driving in this manual and in the ISO Program SOP-7509-01, any violations of these rules are subject to disciplinary action.


Before using these procedures, please refer to the Rolling Action Plan document to ensure that your employees are receiving appropriate training and instruction regarding the issue in question.

Tier 1 For the violation of code of conduct or performance issues :

(i.e. poor housekeeping, improper documentation, substandard performance of work, failure to wear prescribed safety equipment, horseplay, aggressive driving, failure to perform a specified task and any other issues that may appear minor on the surface, yet are critical to the efficient, safe and profitable operation of your department).

Step 1:

  • Verbal warning & training
  • Are your expectations being communicated correctly?

Step 2:

  • Written warning & retraining
  • Is the training effective?
  • Advise individual to take steps to correct action/behavious
  • Have you communicated failure to comply would result in suspension in writing?
  • Request that employee sign this warning. If he/she refuses, note this on the warning.

Step 3:

  • Retraining
  • One day of work suspension in effect as advised by management and the next stage may involve termination.

Step 4:

  • Three to seven days of work suspension in effect depending on the nature of violation


  • Termination of Employment
  • Always consult first with a Senior Manager to ensure that you have done everything possible to resolve the situation.
  • Provide notice of termination in writing, demanding the return of any keys, uniforms, etc.

Tier 2

A Tier 2 offence is almost always grounds for termination of Employment. As a result of any willful or reckless act that:

  • Could violate another individual’s rights,
  • Could endanger the health and safety of any other individual,
  • Could negatively affect customer satisfaction,
  • Is or could be construed as against the law (i.e. theft, fighting, threatening a customer/employee/manager with physical harm, death threats, hateful words or acts, deliberate destruction, and any other form of gross negligence).

Whenever possible, consult with a Senior Manager if you believe a Tier 2 offence has occurred. In their absence, consult with at least one other department manager.

  • Interview the employee with a Senior Manager present to obtain any relevant information or facts.
  • Depending on the outcome of the interview/consultation, a longer suspension or termination of employment may result.
  • If the employee is not terminated, prepare a written warning, clearly outlining your expectations and the consequences of not meeting these expectations.
  • Have the employee sign the written warning. If they refuse, note their refusal on the warning.

Thorough documentation is required!

  • With every disciplinary act, managers must refer to the employee’s file (kept in Human Resources Department).
  • Every verbal warning must be recorded.

Every written warning must be inserted into the employee file.

Workplace Accountability System Policy


From time to time, even the most dedicated and well-trained employees will fail to use proper procedures. Therefore, we must have a system in place that reinforces the importance of following rules and procedures.

An accountability system helps to achieve:

  • Improved customer satisfaction:
    • Reduced errors;
    • Improved ability to get the job done right the first time.
  • Improved employee job satisfaction:
    • Detailed performance expectations are provided in writing;
    • A formal, regularly scheduled performance review;
    • Firm, consistent and fair discipline.
  • Improved workplace safety:
    • Reduced “unsafe” work practices through accountability;
    • Better management through improved processes.


The Accountability System consists of the following components:

  • A regularly scheduled review:
    • First review is 3 months after start date (end of probation),
    • Second review is 12 months after start date,
    • Each subsequent review is done annually,
    • Employees are reviewed using the Employee Performance Review Form.

Department Managers are responsible for scheduling these reviews. Upon hire, they will provide a New Employee Welcome Package from Human Resources (note: item 7 & 8 are Health and Safety related), and schedule the first review (3 months after start date) at that time. Once each rview is performed, he/she will schedule the next review in the same way.

Each manager is responsible for pre-writing their employees’ reviews and then discussing it with a Senior Manager at least one week prior to the review date. This review must rate each item of the employee’s job description.

It is vital that Managers prepare and complete employee reviews on a timely basis. Our employees will be informed of this in advance; therefore they will expect a timely review. Do not rely on your employees to remind you of their own review. They may be too shy to ask, but they will be disappointed if their review is neglected. Managers will be held accountable for this as part of their job descriptions, in the same way other employees are held accountable for their performance.

A detailed job description for every position in the company has been established (files see HR Dept.), full time and part time is required and must include the following elements:

  • An outline of duties typical to the position, along with a statement that allows for the addition or removal of duties as required by management. (Any changes must be updated in writing).
  • Any specific duties or work-specific details for review.
  • Health and safety responsibilities as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), and as outlined in our Health &Safety policy.
  • All general and specific performance expectations clearly identified. This includes performance targets, such as sales performance, customer satisfaction, and any other specific goals.

In addition, the following standard performance definitions should be included within each job description:

  • Quantity of work;
  • Quality of work;
  • Attitude;
  • Initiative;
  • Dependability;
  • Job Knowledge;
  • Ability to work with others;
  • Application (attention to detail);
  • Job cooperation (follow policies and procedures);
  • Attendance and punctuality;
  • Leadership (management only).

These elements will form the basis for the employee’s scheduled review. If it’s in the job description, they will be more accountable. Managers should consider the following:

  • A Rolling Action Plan (See Attachment below) Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we as managers have difficulty getting our staff to follow existing procedures. When you are having difficulty getting your staff to do something, simply plug the “challenge” into the Rolling Action Plan. It might give you the answers you need. Feel free to add your own “questions” as you see fit. If you answer “yes” to all of the questions on the Rolling Action Plan, and you can think of no more questions to ask, you may need to resort to disciplinary measures.

A Disciplinary Guide (2.1.6 Discipline Policy) No disciplinary system can account for all situations. However, so that we can be fair and consistent, some guidelines are required. Use this guide when you must discipline an employee.