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Legislative Requirements and Best Practices

Independent Operators

As an independent operator, you must follow the Occupational Health and Safety Act and related regulations, just as larger companies do. In some ways, you need to be more aware of standard health and safety practices because you likely don't have a health and safety manager or supervisor planning and organizing the work for you. You are ultimately responsible for yourself. The information below will help you understand your responsibilities and will help you stay safe while working.

This information is intended to be a guide. All independent operators and employers must know and understand the occupational health and safety laws that govern their work. To ensure that you are compliant, review the Occupational Health and Safety Act and related regulations.

Health and Safety Laws

It's important to know and understand Ontario's health and safety laws before you and your workers start work. The Ministry of Labour enforces the Occupational Health and Safety Act and related regulations in Ontario. This legislation is designed to protect workers and employers and to help ensure that everyone goes home safely at the end of the day.

Check out our Legislation section and become familiar with the laws that relate to the type of work you do.

Training Requirements

Depending on the type of work you do, you must have certain training. For example, if you work in construction, you need to complete fall prevention training. If you do asbestos removal, you need to complete asbestos abatement training.

Review the Training Requirements Chart (W001) to see what type of training you need.

Once you've determined the training you and your workers need to be compliant with Ontario's laws, visit IHSA's Training page to register for courses. IHSA offers more than 85 training programs across the province. You're sure to find what you need.

Standard Operating Procedures

Besides training, one of the most important things you need before you start work is a standard operating procedure. Standard operating procedures (SOP) are written documents that provide detailed explanations of how a policy will be implemented. To be effective, an SOP must communicate who will perform a task, what materials are necessary, where the task will take place, and how the worker will execute the task.

By definition, SOPs are not generic. They depend on the nature of your work and on the equipment you use. They are also specific to your workplace or jobsite. With a good SOP, anyone who is qualified to do the work should be able to follow the step-by-step instructions and complete the task. The SOP provides structure and direction to help make sure that you get consistent results.

WHMIS

If you work with hazardous material, you need to complete training in the Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS). IHSA offers this course in a classroom setting or online.

Workplace Violence and Harassment

In 2010, The Ontario Ministry of Labour introduced new legislation related to workplace violence and harassment. This legislation requires employers to have a Workplace Violence and Harassment policy. IHSA offers an online training course that provides you with all the information you need to develop your violence and harassment policy.

Check out IHSA's Eight Best Practices for Independent Operators and Small Businesses.

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