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Roles and Responsibilities

Humber employees are covered by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The OHSA is based on an internal responsibility system and identifies roles and responsibilities for employers, supervisors and employees or “workers”. The Act also gives workers specific rights for the protection of their own health and safety.

Workplace Responsibilities

Humber as the Employer

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) sets out many duties, or responsibilities, that the employer must follow. The overriding purpose of these requirements is the creation and maintenance of a healthy and safe workplace. As an employer, Humber must:

  • make sure workers know about hazards in the work they are doing by providing information, training, instruction and supervision on how to work safely
  • create workplace health and safety policies and procedures and ensure that they are being followed
  • ensure supervisors are competent, as defined in the OHSA, and that they know what is required to protect their workers’ health and safety
  • ensure that the equipment, materials and protective devices, as prescribed by regulation, or required by Humber, are provided, used and maintained in good condition.
  • provide information and assistance to our Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee to allow the Committee to carry out its duties effectively
    It should be emphasized that the employer has a general duty to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.


As defined in the OHSA, a supervisor is a person who has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker. The OHSA requires the supervisor to follow the Act and regulations as well as the policies and procedures that the employer has made a requirement of the workplace. Supervisors must:

  • advise workers about hazards in the work they are doing and respond to worker concerns
  • show workers how to work safely and ensure that they follow the OHSA, applicable regulations and workplace policies and procedures
  • make sure workers wear and use the proper protective equipment and devices correctly

The supervisor must also take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances from the protection of their workers.

Employees or “Workers”

All Humber employees are considered “workers” under the OHSA. Workers must:

  • follow the OHSA and regulations as well as Humber policies and procedures
  • report any hazards and injuries to their supervisor
  • wear and use any required protective equipment
  • work in a way that will not injury themselves or others: the OHSA prohibits a worker from using equipment in a manner that may endanger himself/herself or another worker and from engaging in any pranks or horseplay in the workplace

Worker Rights

All Humber employees are "workers" under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and have the following three basic rights under the Act.

  • The Right to Know. Your supervisor is responsible for informing you about existing and potential hazards in your workplace and how to protect yourself and others.
  • The Right to Participate. You can participate in health and safety by discussing safety issues or concerns in your workplace with your supervisor. You may also have an opportunity to participate in Humber’s Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee.
  • The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work. If you are assigned to work that you feel is unsafe, you can raise the issue with your supervisor. Under the Act, you also have the right to formally refuse unsafe work. See Humber’s refusal procedure for more details.