Welcome to Small Business

We created this area of the website for you—workers, supervisors, and owners of small businesses.

We want to help you to understand your specific obligations under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act. We also want to ensure that you know where to get the information you need to work safely and comply with the law.


Free Safety Talks

IHSA's New Safety Talks - V005

Safety Talks provides a hands-on way to reinforce prevention on the job. Each page is a five-minute talk on a specific topic meant to be delivered by managers, supervisors, or health and safety reps. The book includes the Safety Talk Report Form to record the subject, attendees, and results of each Safety Talk presentation.

Download your free copy of Safety Talks (V005) (full document) or by Safety Talk Topic. Order your free copy today online or contact Customer Service at 1-800-263-5024 or (905) 625-0100.


Eight Best Practices

These are eight best practices for small businesses and independent operators. For more information click here.


Health and Safety Resources for Your Business


Independent Operator

1 Person

About this Section

If you are a one-person business, then you are an independent operator. That means it's your responsibility to take care of yourself because without you, there is no business.



2-5 Employees

About this Section

Congratulations! Your business has grown to the point that you hired a few people. Now you move from being an independent operator to an employer and small business owner. As an employer, it is your responsibility to take reasonable precautions to protect your workers from injury or illness on the job.



6-19 Employees

About this Section

When you are an employer with more than five employees, you may need to start formalizing some of your processes. You may have workers at different jobsites, which means you can't be with them all the time. This is when training becomes even more important to ensure that everyone understands how to get the job done safely.



20+ Employees

About this Section

When your company reaches the point where you have 20 or more employees, you may start functioning like a larger firm. You probably have formal administrative processes in place, along with supervisors, certified health and safety representatives, and joint health and safety committees. With 20 or more workers, having an effective health and safety management system becomes critical to protecting workers from injury and illness.




Resources from Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD)

Small businesses represent 95% of all employers in Ontario, and they employ 28% of Ontario’s workers. Business owners know that running a business involves risks and costs; we know that a commitment to health, safety and fairness makes good business sense.

The Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) has developed a simple and easy to understand checklist to help employers meet health and safety requirements in Ontario.

The checklist is tailored to the workplaces with 1-5, 6-19, 20 or more workers, and includes questions and links to information that will help support employers self-evaluate how well they are complying with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). It is organized into four parts:

  • Roles and responsibilities - to help employers and workers understand their responsibilities in the workplace
  • Reporting and records management - to help employers understand reporting requirements when there is a workplace incident such as an injury
  • Hazards in the workplace - ensuring procedures are in place to control hazards
  • Training - ensuring all workers complete mandatory health and safety awareness training, including specific training on hazards found in the workplace

The Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) has also created a webpage for small businesses that bundles resources in one place to help employers understand and comply with OHSA and the Employment Standards Act in Ontario. Business owners can now easily access it when first registering their businesses on the ServiceOntario Business Name Registration page, by clicking "Important resources for small business".