WHMIS

Newfoundland Legislation

Newfoundland and Labrador Due Diligence

This material has been extracted from the Acts and Regulations of the Province to help students understand the subject. It is not an official source of information and must not be used for any other purpose.
Copyright © 2009: Queen’s Printer, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2009
under the
Occupational Health and Safety Act
(O.C. 2009-233)



PART III
GENERAL DUTIES

Occupational health and safety program
12.       (1) An occupational health and safety program required under section 36.1 of the Act shall be signed and dated by the employer and by the person or persons responsible for the management of the employer’s operations in the province and shall include:
(a)       a statement of the employer’s commitment to cooperate with the occupational health and safety committee and workers in the workplace in carrying out their collective responsibility for occupational health and                                 safety;
(b)       a statement of the respective responsibilities of the employer, supervisors, the occupational health and safety committee and workers in carrying out their collective responsibility for occupational health and safety;
(c)        procedures to identify the need for, and for the preparation of written safe work procedures to implement health and safety practices, including practices required by the Act and the regulations, or as required by an officer;
(d)       written work procedures appropriate to the hazards and work activity in the workplace;
(e)       a plan for orienting and training workers and supervisors in workplace and job-specific safe work practices, plans, policies and procedures, including emergency response, that are necessary to eliminate, reduce or control hazards;
(f)        provisions for establishing and operating an occupational health and safety committee, including provisions respecting
(i)         maintenance of membership records,
(ii)        procedural rules,
(iii)       access by the committee to management staff with the authority to resolve health and safety issues and to information about the employer’s operations required under the Act and the regulations, and
(iv)       a plan for training committee members as required under the Act;
(g)       a system for the recognition, evaluation and control of hazards that includes:
(i)         evaluation and monitoring of the workplace to identify potential hazards and the associated risks,
(ii)        procedures and schedules for regular inspections by management and committee members,
(iii)       procedures for the identification, reporting and control or correction of hazards,
(iv)       procedures for the prompt investigation of hazardous occurrences to determine the cause of the occurrence and the actions necessary to prevent a recurrence,
(v)        identification of the circumstances where the employer is required to report hazards to the committee and the procedures for doing so, and
(vi)       measures for the accountability of persons responsible for the reporting and correction of hazards;
(h)       a plan for the control of biological and chemical substances handled, used, stored, produced or disposed of at the workplace and where appropriate, the monitoring of the work environment to ensure the health                          and safety of workers and other persons at or near the workplace;
(i)         a system to ensure that persons contracted by the employer or for the employer’s benefit comply with the program developed under this section and the Act and regulations;
(j)         an emergency response plan;
(k)        maintenance of records and statistics, including occupational health and safety committee minutes, reports of occupational health and safety inspections and investigations, with procedures to allow access to them by persons entitled to receive them under the Act; and
(l)         provision for monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of the program.
(2)       An employer that is required to establish and maintain an occupational health and safety program under section 36.1 of the Act shall
(a)       implement the occupational health and safety program; and
(b)       review and, where necessary, revise the occupational health and safety program as follows:
(i)         at least every 3 years,
(ii)        where there is a change of circumstances that may affect the health and safety of workers, and
(iii)       where an officer requests a review.

Occupational health and safety policy
13.       (1) An occupational health and safety policy required under section 36.2 of the Act shall be signed and dated by the employer and by the person or persons responsible for the management of the employer’s operations in the province, and shall contain a statement of the employer’s commitment to occupational health and safety that includes:
(a)       a statement of the employer’s commitment to cooperate with the worker health and safety representative or the workplace health and safety designate and workers in the workplace in carrying out their collective responsibility for occupational health and safety; and
(b)       a statement of the respective responsibilities of the employer, supervisors, the worker health and safety representative or the workplace health and safety designate and other workers in carrying out their collective responsibility for occupational health and safety.
(2)       An employer that is required to establish and maintain an occupational health and safety policy under section 36.2 of the Act shall review and, where necessary, update the policy at least annually, in consultation with the worker health and safety representative or the workplace health and safety designate.

General duties of employers
14.       (1) An employer shall ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that all buildings, structures, whether permanent or temporary, excavation, machinery, workstations, places of employment and equipment are capable of withstanding the stresses likely to be imposed upon them and of safely performing the functions for which they are used or intended.
(2)       An employer shall ensure that necessary protective clothing and devices are used for the health and safety of his or her workers.
(3)       The employer shall ensure that safe work procedures are followed at all workplaces.
(4)       An employer shall ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that work procedures promote the safe interaction of workers and their work environment to minimize the potential for injury.

Working alone
15.       (1) In this section, "to work alone or in isolation" means to work in circumstances where assistance would not be readily available to the worker
(a)       in case of an emergency; or
(b)       in case the worker is injured or in ill health.
(2)       An employer shall conduct a risk assessment where a worker is assigned to work alone or in isolation;
(3)       Where a risk assessment required under subsection (2) identifies a hazard, appropriate controls shall be implemented to eliminate, or where elimination is not practicable, minimize the risk associated with the hazard;
(4)       An employer shall develop and implement a written procedure for checking the well-being of a worker assigned to work alone or in isolation;
(5)       A procedure referred to in subsection (4) shall include the time interval between checks and the procedure to  follow in case the worker cannot be contacted, including provisions for emergency response;
(6)       A person shall be designated to establish contact with the worker at predetermined intervals and the results shall be recorded by the person;
(7)       A procedure referred to in subsection (4)  shall be developed in consultation with the worker assigned to work alone or in isolation, the occupational health and safety committee, the worker health and safety                            representative or designate, whichever applies;
(8)       A procedure referred to in subsection (4) shall be reviewed at least annually, or more frequently if there is
(a)       a change in work arrangements that may adversely affect a worker's well-being or safety; or
(b)       a report that procedures are not working effectively.

Safe working load of equipment
16.       (1) Except as provided elsewhere in these regulations, the safe working load of equipment shall be that specified by the manufacturer.
(2)       The safe working load of equipment shall be certified by a suitably qualified and registered professional engineer or other person named by the employer and acceptable to the assistant deputy minister where
(a)       the manufacturer’s specification or other acceptable warranty cannot be produced;
(b)       the equipment has been modified in a manner that changes its safe working load;
(c)        wear, corrosion, damage or signs of fatigue are found which may reduce the safe working load;
(d)       the equipment is used in a manner or for a purpose other than that for which it was originally designed, where that use changes the safe working load; or
(e)       the provision of the certification is considered to be necessary by an officer.

General duties of workers
17.       (1) A worker shall make proper use of all necessary safeguards, protective clothing, safety devices, lifting devices or aids, and appliances
(a)       designated and provided for his or her protection by the employer; or
(b)       required under these regulations to be used or worn by a worker.
(2)       A worker shall follow the safe work procedure in which he or she has been instructed.
(3)       A worker shall immediately report a hazardous work condition that may come to his or her attention to the employer or supervisor.

Safety inspections
18.       (1) Regular inspections of all buildings, excavations, structures, machinery, equipment, work practices and places of employment shall be made by the employer or his or her representative at intervals to ensure that safe working conditions are maintained and that unsafe conditions found as a result of the inspection are remedied without delay.
(2)       Where an unsafe condition is discovered by a person, it shall be reported as soon as practicable to a supervisor who shall ensure that appropriate action is taken, without delay, to prevent a worker from being injured.
(3)       Where emergency action is required to correct a condition that constitutes an immediate threat to workers, only those qualified and properly instructed workers necessary to correct the unsafe condition shall be exposed to the hazard and every possible effort shall be made to control the hazard while the corrective action is taking place.

Co-ordination of work
19.       (1) An owner shall ensure that all workers and other persons at the workplace are informed of
(a)       the hazards of an owner's operations or site conditions; and
(b)       the health and safety activities to be used to address the hazards.
(2)       A principal contractor shall ensure work schedules and tasks are organized to provide safe working conditions for workers.

Two or more employers
20.       Where a construction project involves the work of 2 or more employers or their workers,
(a)       the principal contractor shall ensure compliance with the regulations where conditions or activities affect the workers of more than one employer; and
(b)       each employer shall notify the principal contractor in advance of an undertaking likely to create a hazard for a worker of another employer.

Appointment of qualified co-ordinator
21.       Where, at a work location, the overlapping or adjoining work activities of 2 or more employers create a hazard to workers and the combined work force at the workplace is more than 5 persons, the principal contractor                                  shall
(a)       ensure that an individual is designated at the work location to coordinate communication for the purpose of ensuring health and safety on the worksite; and
(b)       where the principal contractor is not at the work location the principal contractor shall designate a person to assume the duty.

Violence prevention
22.       (1) In this section and sections 23 and 24, "violence" means the attempted or actual exercise by a person, other than a worker, of physical force to cause injury to a worker, and includes threatening statements or behaviour which gives a worker reason to believe that he or she is at a risk of injury.
(2)       An employer risk assessment shall be performed in a workplace in which a risk of injury to workers from violence arising out of their employment may be present.
(3)       The risk assessment shall include the consideration of
(a)       previous experience in the workplace;
(b)       occupational experience in similar workplaces; and
(c)        the location and circumstances in which work may take place.

Procedures and policies
23.       Where a risk of injury to workers from violence is identified by an assessment performed under section 22 the employer shall
(a)       establish procedures, policies and work environment arrangements to eliminate the risk to workers from violence; and
(b)       where elimination of the risk to workers is not possible, establish procedures, policies and work environment arrangements to minimize the risk to workers.

Instruction to workers
24.       (1) An employer shall inform workers who may be exposed to the risk of  violence of the nature of the risk and the precautions that may be taken.
(2)       The duty to inform workers in subsection (1) includes a duty to provide information related to the risk of violence from persons who have a history of violent behaviour and whom workers are likely to encounter in the course of their work.



PART IV
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEES, REPRESENTATIVES AND DESIGNATES

Operations of committees, representatives and designates
25.       (1) An employer shall ensure that
(a)       an occupational health and safety committee is established;
(b)       a worker health and safety representative is appointed; or
(c)        a workplace health and safety designate is designated; and
(d)       a copy of the Act and regulations under the Act are easily accessible to an employee.
(2)       Minutes of all regular meetings and special committee meetings shall be recorded in the form prescribed by the commission and one copy shall be kept on file with the committee, one copy shall be filed with the commission and one copy shall be posted in a prominent place in the workplace.
(3)       A worker health and safety representative or a workplace health and safety designate shall report to the commission in the form required by the commission.
(4)       An occupational health and safety committee shall
(a)       meet within 2 weeks of its establishment;
(b)       elect co-chairpersons as required by subsection 38(6) of the Act; and
(c)        notify the commission of the elected co-chairs.
(5)       A quorum of the committee shall consist of one-half of its membership, provided that both employer and worker members are equally represented.
(6)       Where an agreement cannot be reached between co-chairpersons on convening a meeting of the committee, the minister may be requested to intervene.
(7)       The minister may require that a committee have monthly meetings where a particular hazard is involved, the operations are particularly complex or large numbers of workers are involved.
(8)       A representative of the employer and
(a)       the workers of an occupational health and safety committee;
(b)       the worker health and safety representative; or
(c)        the workplace health and safety designate, except where the workplace health and safety designate is the employer,
have the right to accompany an officer of the division when the health and safety inspections are being conducted.
(9)       Copies of all health and safety inspection reports made by an officer of the division, shall be circulated by the employer to
(a)       the occupational health and safety committee;
(b)       the worker health and safety representative; or
(c)        the workplace health and safety designate.

PART V
GENERAL HEALTH AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS
Personal conduct
26.       (1) A worker with a medically documented physical or mental impairment shall not be assigned to work where those impairments endanger the health and safety of that worker or other workers.
(2)       An employer, supervisor or worker shall not enter or remain on the premises of a workplace or at a job site while his or her ability to perform work responsibilities is impaired by intoxicating substances or another cause that endangers his or her health or safety or that of other workers.
(3)       A person shall not engage in horseplay, scuffling, unnecessary running or jumping, practical jokes or other similar activity or behaviour that may create or constitute a hazard to workers.
(4)       Before tools, machinery or equipment is put into operation, the person responsible for doing so shall ensure that all guards are in place and that putting the equipment into operation does not endanger a person.

Travel over and work on ice
27.       (1) Where a worker is to travel over or work on ice and the water beneath the ice is more than one metre deep at any point, the employer of the worker shall ensure the ice supports the load to be placed on it.
(2)       The employer shall test the ice for the purpose of subsection (1)
(a)       before work begins; and
(b)       as often during the work as necessary to ensure the safety of the workers.

Guardrails
28.       (1) Guardrails shall be installed where an open-sided floor, working platform, runway, walkway or balcony is over 1.22 metres above the existing floor or ground level.
(2)       Detour guardrails shall be installed where a stairway ends in direct proximity to dangerous traffic or other hazards.
(3)       An employer shall ensure that a guardrail is secured so that it cannot move in any direction if it is struck or if a point on it comes in contact with a worker, materials or equipment.
(4)       Guardrails shall be installed on walkways over open tanks containing harmful substances or over open tanks 1.22 metres or more in depth.
(5)       Walkways and platforms installed over machinery and work areas shall be equipped with toe boards at least 10 centimetres high along all sides of  the walkway or platform.
(6)       A guard rail shall have a top rail located at least .9 metres but not more than 1.1 metres above the working surface and an intermediate rail located midway between the top rail and the working surface.

Roof work
29.       (1) Where work is being done at a distance greater than 2 metres from the edge of a roof that has a slope of less than 3/12, the employer shall implement control zones to alert workers upon entering within 2 metres of the edge without an appropriate means of fall protection.
(2)       Where work is being done from the edge of a roof or within 2 metres of the edge of a roof that has a slope of less than 3/12 in circumstances described in paragraph 141(a), (b) or (c), fall protection shall be used, in accordance with paragraph 141(d), (e), (f), (g), or (h).
(3)       Where work is being done from or on a roof that has a slope that is equal to or greater than 3/12 but less than 6/12, under circumstances described in paragraph 141(a), (b) or (c)
(a)       a fully decked scaffold with toeboards installed continuously along the edge of the roof,
(b)       roof brackets, guardrails and toeboards installed continuously along the edge of the roof, or
(c)        a fall arrest system in accordance with paragraph 141(d)
shall be implemented.
(4)       Where work is being done from a roof that has a slope that is equal to or greater than 6/12 but less than 9/12, under circumstances described in paragraph 141(a), (b) or (c), a combination of 2 of the following shall be implemented:
(a)       roof brackets,
(b)       a fully decked scaffold with toeboards installed continuously along the length of the eave, and
(c)        a fall arrest system in accordance with paragraph 141(d).
(5)       Where work is done from or on a roof that has a slope equal to or greater than 9/12, under circumstances described in paragraph 141(a), (b) or (c), roof brackets with planks and a fall arrest system shall be used in accordance with these regulations.
(6)       Crawl boards and ladders used for roof work shall be securely fastened over the ridge of the roof or be otherwise effectively anchored.
(7)       An eavestrough shall not be used to support a crawl board or ladder on a roof.

Openings, pits and tanks
30.       (1) Where a worker is employed around an open tank containing liquid or a harmful substance, the sides of the tanks shall be constructed to extend at least 91.44 centimetres above a working platform or standard guardrails shall be provided to prevent the worker from falling into the tank.
(2)       A hole or pit in a floor, roof, walkway or work area accessible to a worker shall be securely covered and identified.
(3)       Where a vehicle service pit is used so frequently that compliance with this section is impractical, the perimeter of the pit shall be delineated by high visibility, luminescent, skid-resistant paint instead of guardrails.
(4)       A vehicle service pit shall have a fixed ladder at each end.

Material storage
31.       (1) Material and equipment shall be placed, stacked or stored in a stable and secure manner that does not constitute a hazard to a worker who is in the area or who is manually stacking the items.
(2)       Stacked material or containers shall be stabilized where necessary by interlocking, strapping or other effective means of restraint.
(3)       A worker shall not enter or remain in a place where there is a danger of entrapment or engulfment unless
(a)       safe access and a safe work area is provided by catwalks, walkways, barriers or other means; or
(b)       measures are taken, where practicable, to control the risk of entrapment or engulfment and, where the risk is not eliminated, the worker
(i)         shall use a lifeline and harness prescribed in Part X that keeps the worker in a position to be able to be rescued, and
(ii)        is continuously tended by a standby person who is equipped for and capable of effecting immediate rescue.
(4)       An area in which material may be dropped, dumped or spilled shall be guarded to prevent inadvertent entry by a worker, or protected by adequate covers and guarding.

Signage
32.       Signs posted in a workplace for the purpose of providing information about health and safety shall conform with the requirement of a standard acceptable to the minister.

Overcrowding
33.       An employer shall, to the extent reasonably practical, ensure that a workplace or an area in that workplace is not so overcrowded as to cause risk of injury to the health or safety of a worker.

Slipping hazards
34.       (1) Where the regular work process results in liquid spilling on to the floor or work areas, and where this spillage could introduce a slipping or other hazard, floor drains shall be installed or other suitable means used or adopted to eliminate this hazard.
(2)       Only an approved non-combustible grease and oil absorbent shall be used to eliminate a hazard referred to in subsection (1).
(3)       Where wet processes are used, an employer or contractor shall ensure that reasonable drainage is maintained and that false floors, platforms, mats or other dry standing places are provided and kept clean.

Barriers
35.       Where a worker may be exposed to flying fragments or particles, he or she shall be protected by an appropriate barrier or wear appropriate personal protection equipment.

Illumination
36.       (1) An employer shall provide sufficient and suitable lighting, whether natural or artificial, in every part of a workplace while a worker is present and the illumination shall comply with the standards set by the American National Standards Institute - Illuminating Engineering Society, or other standards acceptable to the minister.
(2)       An artificial light source or reflective surface shall be positioned, screened or provided with a shade to prevent glare or discomfort or the formation of shadows that cause eyestrain or a risk of accident or injury to workers.
(3)       Where the visibility in a work area is restricted due to the presence of  smoke, steam or other substances in the atmosphere, and where this condition may result in injury to workers, corrective measures shall be taken to eliminate, control or reduce the hazard.
(4)       Handling, storage and disposal of fluorescent bulbs shall be in accordance to manufacturers' instructions.
(5)       Fluorescent bulbs shall be stored in suitable containers.
(6)       Where fluorescent bulbs are disposed of by crushing or compacting, it shall be done in an area adequately ventilated to protect the health and safety of the worker and the worker shall be provided with and use                                          appropriate protective equipment.

Compressed air
37.       Compressed air shall not be used to clean clothes, machinery, work benches or floors.

Emergency plan risk assessment
38.       (1) An employer shall conduct a risk assessment in a workplace in which a need to rescue or evacuate workers may arise.
(2)       Where the risk assessment required by subsection (1) shows a need for evacuation or rescue, appropriate written procedures shall be developed and implemented and a worker assigned to coordinate their                                                          implementation.
(3)       Written rescue and evacuation procedures are required for but not limited to
(a)       work at high angles;
(b)       work in confined spaces or where there is a risk of entrapment;
(c)        work with hazardous substances;
(d)       underground work;
(e)       work in close proximity to power lines;
(f)        work on or over water; and
(g)       workplaces where there are persons who require physical assistance to be moved.
(4)       Where a workplace is a low risk workplace in the opinion of an employer, the employer shall post information about escape routes and conduct emergency drills he or she considers appropriate.

Emergency procedures
39.       (1) An emergency exit route shall be provided from a work area in which the malfunctioning of equipment or a work process could create an immediate danger to a worker and the regular means of exit could become dangerous or unusable.
(2)       An emergency exit route shall be designed and marked to provide quick and unimpeded exit.
(3)       At least once a year an emergency drill shall be held to ensure awareness and effectiveness of the emergency exit routes and procedure, and a record of the drill shall be kept for a period of 5 years.

Emergency lighting
40.       (1) Where a failure of a lighting system would create conditions dangerous to the health and safety of workers, an emergency lighting system shall be provided for the workplace and the exit routes.
(2)       An emergency lighting system shall provide dependable illumination while the primary lighting system is off to enable all emergency measures to be carried out, including
(a)       emergency shutdown procedures, and
(b)       evacuation of workers from the premises.


Emergency training
41.       (1) A worker shall be given adequate instruction in the fire prevention and emergency evacuation procedures applicable to his or her workplace.
(2)       A worker assigned to firefighting duties in a workplace shall be given adequate training by a qualified instructor in fire suppression methods, fire prevention, emergency procedures, organization and chain of command, firefighting crew safety and communications applicable to the workplace in accordance with National Fire Protection Association standards.
(3)       Retraining for firefighting duties shall be provided periodically, but not less than once a year.
 

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