Occupational Health and Safety Act

The legislation governing workplaces in Ontario is known as the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The "Act" is the LAW and is common to all workplaces regardless of the type of work being done. Construction has a specific set of regulations (under the OHSA) known as the "Regulations for Construction Projects."

The OHSA and construction regulations, also known as the "Green Book", includes the following regulations:

  • Construction Projects (213/91)
  • Confined Spaces (632/05)
  • Critical Injury—Defined (834)
  • OHS Awareness and Training (297/13)
  • JHSCs—Exemption (385/96)
  • Unilateral Work Stoppage (243/95)
  • Inventory of Agents or Combinations of Agents (852)
  • Offices of the Worker and Employer Advisers (33/12)

The green book is the official version of the OHSA that must be posted at the worksite.

In this section, we will identify some of the common legislated requirements that can affect the quality of a company's health and safety program and compliance with the OHSA and regulations. One section of the OHSA states "An employer shall prepare and review at least annually a written occupational health and safety policy and develop and maintain a program to implement that policy."

When developing a safety program, it is important to remember the following items:

  • Are health and safety legislation/regulations considered during the job planning process?
  • Are copies of relevant legislation posted and available at each workplace?
  • Are workers aware of their rights and responsibilities and how to exercise them?
  • Does your employer's accident reporting program meet legislated requirements?

The sample checklist included in this element provides a list of items required by legislation that must be posted or available on jobsites. This checklist includes only the minimum requirements, so always check the green book for the legislative requirements of the specific job you are going to undertake.

Do You Know?

IHSA offers courses and information for workers, supervisors and management to help recognize their rights and obligations regarding construction health and safety regulations.




Links to existing IHSA and MOL material



The samples provided are intended to be modified to meet company or site-specific requirements. Without such modifications, they may not be appropriate. Although IHSA believes that the information provided is consistent with the legal requirements and/or good industry practices which prevailed at the time the information was compiled, users of this information are urged to check with current regulations, local/trade practices and the most recent edition of the reference material to ensure that it is still appropriate.


Last Updated: March 18, 2020