Health and Safety Policy

Policy number: CS-1401-1979
Policy title: Health and Safety
Policy owner: Chief Human Resources Officer
Effective date: November 19, 1979
Revision date: February 21, 2018

On this page

  1. Purpose
  2. Application and Scope
  3. Definitions
  4. Principles
  5. Accountability and Compliance
  6. Roles and Responsibilities
  7. Policy Revision Date
  8. Specific Links

1. Purpose

The purpose of the Health and Safety Policy is to clearly communicate Mohawk College’s commitment to provide a healthy and safe working and learning environment and to outline individual health and safety responsibilities for implementing this policy.
 

2. Application and Scope

This policy applies to all employees, students, volunteers, visitors and contractors of Mohawk College.
 

3. Definitions

“Competent Person” means a person who:

  • Is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience to organize the work and its performance;
  • Is familiar with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Regulations that apply to the work and;
  • Has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health and safety in the workplace. 

“Director” refers to members of the Board of Governors.

“Officer” refers to the President and Vice Presidents.

“Employer” is Mohawk College under the OHSA.

“Internal Responsibility System” refers to a health and safety philosophy based on the principle that everyone in the workplace is responsible and accountable for workplace health and safety in some way.  This is the underlying concept of the OHSA and forms the basis for a health and safety management system.  

“Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC)” are advisory groups consisting of management and worker representatives established under the requirements of Section 9 of the OHSA. 

“Manager” includes supervisors as defined in the OHSA.

“Supervisor” refers to a person who has charge over a workplace or authority over a worker as defined by the OHSA.  Supervisors include the following: Managers, Directors, Associate Deans, Deans, Registrar, Chiefs, Vice Presidents, and President.  

“Worker” refers to a person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation and also to students (secondary school, college or university) who perform work or supply services for no monetary compensation under a program- approved work experience placement as defined in the OHSA. All employees and students on unpaid placements at Mohawk College are “workers” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
 

4. Principles

  • Mohawk College values the health, safety and well-being of the College community and is committed to providing a safe working and learning environment.  This will be achieved through policies, programs, procedures and guidelines that meet or exceed the requirements of the OHSA.   
  • The College supports the implementation of the Internal Responsibility System to involve the workplace parties for promoting occupational health and safety and preventing accidents, incidents and occupational injuries.
  • Employees, students, visitors and contractors are responsible for working safely and in accordance with legislated and College requirements. 
  • Non-compliance with this policy or other safety related policies, procedures or legislative requirements will result in disciplinary action as appropriate.
     

5. Accountability and Compliance

5.1 Accountability Framework

This policy has been approved by the Senior Leadership Team.

5.2 Compliance

The Chief Human Resources Officer is responsible for implementing this policy, monitoring its effectiveness and reviewing this policy on an annual basis or more frequently as necessary.

Managers are responsible for departmental compliance with this policy and maintaining a safe and healthy environment in their areas of responsibility.
 

6. Roles and Responsibilities

6.1 Employer

Section 32 of the OHSA states “Every Director and every Officer of a corporation shall take all reasonable care to ensure the corporation complies with”:

  • This Act and the regulations
  • Orders and requirements of Inspectors, Directors (Ministry of Labour) and
  • Orders of the Minister (Minister of Labour)

Through the Executive Team, the College shall:

  • Take all reasonable care to ensure Mohawk complies with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations and its obligations as an “employer”. 
  • Appoint “competent” managers as defined by the OHSA.
  • Provide a safe and healthy working and learning environment by ensuring compliance with safety regulations and requirements.
  • Take appropriate disciplinary action in response to non-compliance with health and safety practices, procedures or legislated requirements.
  • Support the College Joint Health and Safety Committees regarding their mandated responsibilities and respond within twenty-one days, in writing, to written recommendations received from a committee.
  • Ensure corrective measures for identified hazards are promptly implemented.
  • Consider health and safety in day-to-day decision making as well as in planning future purchases, installations and activities.
  • Provide resources necessary to meet the above responsibilities. 

6.2 Managers

Manager responsibilities are outlined in section 27 of the OHSA and indicate that a Manager shall:

  • Maintain a safe and healthy working environment and ensure work is performed in compliance with the OHSA and Regulations and College policies and procedures as appropriate.
  • Consider health and safety in day-to-day decision making as well as in planning future purchases, installations and activities.
  • Ensure safety orientation training and hazard specific training and instruction is provided to all employees as required by the employees’ job or worksite so they are able to perform their tasks safely. 
  • Ensure employees are informed of actual and potential hazards.
  • Communicate and enforce the requirements for wearing personal protective equipment in their areas of responsibility.
  • Provide personal protective equipment (e.g. safety goggles/glasses, gloves, hearing protection, etc.) where required and in accordance with any applicable collective agreement provisions.  
  • Take all reasonable precautions for the protection of their workers.
  • Respond in writing, within twenty-one days, to written recommendations received from a joint health and safety committee.
  • Regularly review employee safety performance, procedures and training needs.
  • Take appropriate disciplinary action in response to non-compliance with health and safety practices, procedures or legislated requirements.
  • Investigate workplace accidents, incidents or hazardous conditions in their area of responsibility.
  • Promptly implement corrective measures for hazards identified.

6.3 Employees

Employees’ responsibilities are outlined in section 28 of the OHSA and indicate that Employees shall:

  • Comply with the OHSA and regulations and with applicable College policies, programs and procedures.
  • Consider health and safety in day-to-day activities and refrain from any activity that may endanger their health and safety or that of another person.
  • Familiarize themselves with emergency procedures applicable to their campus work location(s).  Examples include: Lockdown and Hold and Secure, evacuations, first aid and accident reporting.
  • Refuse to perform unsafe work, or stop work from proceeding where the health and safety of an employee or other individual is in danger from unsafe practices or behaviours that are contrary to the OHSA or to recognized safety practices.
  • Not operate any equipment on which they have not been trained or for which they are not authorized to use. 
  • Promptly report to their manager any observed contravention of the OHSA or regulations or of the College’s rules and procedures or any workplace hazard of which they are aware.
  • Promptly report a workplace accident, incident or injury to their manager.

6.4 Professors/Instructors/Technologists

Professors, Instructors and Technologists have responsibility for the learning environment and authority over students. They have responsibilities similar to managers under the OHSA and the additional duty to provide a positive example and leadership for students with respect to safety they shall:

  • Ensure students perform work in compliance with the OHSA and Regulations and departmental and College requirements.
  • Ensure students are informed of actual or potential hazards and how to avoid those hazards.
  • Take all reasonable precautions for the protection of students.
  • Ensure safe practices and procedures are followed.
  • Ensure students wear the appropriate personal protective equipment.
  • Ensure emergency procedures such as fire evacuations; lockdown and hold and secure are reviewed with students at the beginning of each semester, as a minimum.

6.5 Managers of Independent Contractors

Any employee of Mohawk College who is responsible for hiring or overseeing an independent contractor to perform work at the College shall ensure:

  • The required documentation (e.g.  WSIB Clearance Certificate, proof of liability insurance and relevant training documents etc.) have been obtained.
  • Relevant information relating to workplace hazards and environmental health and safety is communicated to the contractor.
  • Contract requirements for complying with legislated and College requirements are monitored and enforced.

6.6 Students

Students shall:

  • Conduct themselves in a manner conducive to protecting their personal safety and that of others in class at all times. 
  • Adhere to legislated safety regulations and to College programs, policies and procedures or to department specific safety practices and requirements.
  • Not operate any equipment on which they have not been trained or for which they are not authorized to use. 
  • Respond promptly to emergency announcements or alarms and to instructions from College employees responding to emergencies.
  • Report any accident, injury or unsafe conditions to their Professor/Instructor/Technologist.

6.7 Visitors

Visitors to the College are responsible for:

  • Conducting themselves in a safe manner and obeying all posted rules and applicable safety requirements.
  • Wearing personal protective equipment required in designated areas.
  • Responding promptly to emergency announcements or alarms and to instructions from College employees responding to emergencies.
  • Reporting any accident, injury or unsafe condition to Security Services or other College employees.

6.8 Contractors

Contractors performing work or providing services for the College must:

  • Ensure their employees work in a manner that meets or exceeds compliance with the OHSA and Regulations and all College requirements. 
  • Take reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of their workers and the College community that may be affected by the work performed or services provided.  
  • Provide proof of training and other documentation (e.g. WSIB Clearance Certificate, Liability Insurance) as required.

6.9 Human Resources

The Occupational Health and Safety Consultant (OHSC) is the health and safety resource person who provides consulting and advisory services for the College.  The OHSC oversees activities to ensure the College provides a safe work and learning environment that is compliant with Health and Safety legislation. This is accomplished by recommending programs, policies and procedures that meet or exceed regulatory requirements. In addition, the OHSC:

  • Provides advice and support to the College Joint Health and Safety Committees and to the College community.
  • Provides or coordinates health and safety related training for employees. 
  • Conducts investigations and inspections and advises management with respect to hazard identification and corrective measures.
  • Conducts or coordinates testing and assessments for chemical, physical or biological agents and other safety-related concerns and advises with respect to control measures. 

6.10 Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC) and Health and Safety Representatives

JHSCs function under Terms of Reference and meet at least once every three months to review and discuss health and safety concerns, accident/incident reports and make recommendations.  The main functions of JHSCs include:

  • Identifying situations that may be a source of danger or hazard
  • Conducting monthly inspections of the workplace
  • Making recommendations to the College to improve health and safety
  • Investigating accidents involving a critical injury or fatality
  • Attending work refusals

JHSCs are established at Fennell, Stoney Creek and the Institute of Applied Health Sciences campuses.  

Workplaces where there are regularly more than five but fewer than twenty employees are required to have a Health and Safety Representative. The functions of a Health and Safety Representative are similar to those for JHSCs and are outlined under Section 8 of the OHSA. 
 

7. Policy Revision Date 

7.1 Revision Date

February 2019

7.2 Responsibility

The Chief Human Resources Officer will review this policy annually.
 

8. Specific Links

  • GC-4302-2015 Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence
  • CS-1400-2008 Accidents and First Aid
  • CS-1403-2008 Emergency Response
  • CS-1402-2012 Violence Prevention and Protection
  • CS-1317-2012 Respectful Workplace (Harassment and Discrimination) 
  • SS-3200-2006 Student Behaviour 
  • ERP810 Reporting and Responding to Violence
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act