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Warning: You MUST conduct a toolbox talk on the OHSA or be prepared to face criminal charges...

by , 04 April 2014
If you think you only need to conduct a toolbox talk on construction, equipment, chemicals, lockout systems and other prominent safety issues, you're wrong. You also need to conduct a toolbox talk on the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). If you don't, you could face criminal charges if your employees don't obey the OHSA. Don't take that risk. Continue reading to find out what to cover when you conduct this toolbox talk so your employees know that they have to obey the OHSA.

Here's why it's important to conduct a toolbox talk on the OHSA

The Health & Safety Advisor says every employee has the legal right to know the OHSA. After all, Section 8 says all employees must comply with the Act.

'The only way they can do this is to be taught about what the Act says about their rights and why they must obey legal instructions given to them by their employer,' adds the Advisor.

And that's where your toolbox talks come in…

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Here's what to tell employees when you conduct a toolbox talk on the OHSA

During your toolbox talk, tell employees about the OHSA and why it's important.

You must stress that if they don't know what is and isn't legal, they can do something wrong and get into serious trouble with the law. And that they may even injure or kill themselves or somebody else.

You also need to ensure your employees are also aware of these four things:

  1. Tell employees that failure to obey the OHSA could result in criminal charges, fines and penalties;
  2. Explain to them that if anybody does anything that causes harm to someone else in the workplace, they'll face fines, penalties and possible criminal action from the Department of Labour (DoL);
  3. Stress that ignorance isn't an excuse the DOL or a court of law will accept; and that
  4. The same goes for negligence.

The bottom line: Employers and employees are expected to know and obey the law. You must conduct a toolbox talk on the OHSA and tell employees to obey the Act so they can't stand up in a court of law and say 'I didn't know'.

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