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#2 December 1 2021: What are the responsibilities and posting requirements for small businesses?

Author: Mark Alward, Owner of Martin’s Safety Training and Safety Course Developer

All businesses in Ontario are required to train their employees and post certain information and policies and procedures.

The question is often asked if the same is required when the company is a family business and family members are the only employees.

If a business has an employee on the payroll, even just the owner, the business falls under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The business must pay WSIB fees and follow all training, posting and safety requirements.

This blog will discuss the basic requirements and help you determine how you are doing in meeting these requirements.


Here Are the Basics:

This blog will go into more detail about the requirements,

but this section will look at the basics and help the reader to determine how they are doing regarding the requirements and the mounds of information available.


  • Many requirements vary on how they are applied, according to the number of employees:


  • The most basic requirement is found in Section 25 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA):
    • “An employer shall ensure that” they “take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker”;
    • This task falls to all supervisors, lead hands and similar roles.


  • A Workplace Health and Safety Policy must be developed:
    • This policy is basically a statement that the company has a basic plan, and outlines expectations of all staff regarding overall health and safety;
    • This policy is often followed by procedures of how the plan will be implemented in the workplace.


  • A Violence and Harassment Policy must be developed:
    • This policy is basically a statement that the company has a basic plan, and outlines expectations of all staff regarding violence and harassment of any type in the workplace;
    • This policy is often followed by procedures of how the plan will be implemented in the workplace, including discipline if required.


  • Required Postings:
    • Certain documents must be posted in the workplace, and possibly even distributed to workers:
      • These documents include the OHSA and applicable regulations for your specific workplace;
      • They are usually found on a safety board or bulletin board accessible by all employees.


  • Required Training:
    • No matter the task or equipment provided, an employer is responsible to provide an employee with proper training;
    • Some training is very basic, and some requires more detail;
    • Training should always provide written information and be documented:
      • Information about the specific task and information and procedures an operator is required to know about the equipment;
      • Documented:
        • Name
        • Date
        • Type of training
        • Expiry


If you are confused at this point, check out our compliance evaluator.

It is easy and will help you determine how you are doing by simply clicking ten YES/NO answers:

Compliance Evaluation Tool


Next Steps:

  • Perhaps you have realized your company is in good shape and have all the requirements in place-that is fantastic


  • Maybe you need a little help.


  • Either way, the following information will help:
    • You can follow the links provided and use the templates for a do-it-yourself project


  • We can help prepare an entire package to get your company up to speed with the requirements-complete with policies, posters and information on how to maintain the package.


Workplace Postings:

  • Summary of postings required:


  • The Employment Standards poster:
    • Must be given to every employee;
    • May be posted, but is no longer mandatory;


  • Health and Safety at Work poster;


  • A copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and the regulations that apply to your business sector;


  • The name of the employee who is the Health and Safety representative, if applicable (5-19 employees)


  • A listing of who is on the Joint Health and Safety Committee, if applicable (20 or more employees)


  • Health and Safety Policy and Violence and Harassment Policy:
    • Must be posted if there are 5 or more employees:
      • We recommend posting even if there are less than 5 employees;
    • Must be reviewed annually, signed and dated by the employer;
    • There are online templates that can easily be modified for these, and many other, policies:


  • In Case of Injury poster;


  • First Aid Station needs to be clearly labelled:
    • The size of the First Aid Kit varies with the number of workers employed;
    • Trained First Aid staff members names must be posted here;
    • Proof of required inspections to ensure First Aid Kit is properly stocked.


  • A link to the above information and how to obtain the required posters:



  • Basic training begins with these policies:
  • The first step in training, and safety in general, is to identify the hazards in the workplace:


  • Making workers aware of the Health and Safety Policy and program;


  • Making workers aware of the Violence and Harassment Policy and program:
    • Basic training on violence and harassment:
      • What are they;
      • How do they happen;
      • What to do if they happen;


  • Worker Awareness:
    • Responsibilities of:
      • Employers;
      • Supervisors;
      • Workers:
        • Workers’ rights;
      • Awareness of company policies and procedures on all tasks and equipment;


  • Supervisor Awareness (similar to workers’ awareness but specifies duties and responsibilities);


  • Additional Training:
    • Is provided as needed for each task that must be completed for the company to operate;
    • This list could be endless, but the basic training given by most companies is:
      • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS);
      • Forklift;
      • Machine operation-lathes, cutters, shapers etc.;
      • Lock out/tag out (LOTO);
      • Training on additional equipment when required;
    • Martin’s Safety Training can help with your training needs.


Martin’s Safety Training is happy to quote the cost of building a compliance package for you, or simply answer questions that were raised by reading this blog.



Check out our web site for more blog’s and our podcast https://martinssafetytraining.com/

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