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Revealed: Vital, need-to-know information every Health & Safety Supervisor needs to know

by , 08 April 2014
Your Health and Safety Supervisors play a vital role in your company. They plan, organise, lead and control your employees. As such, they must be properly equipped to perform their duties. To do that, you need to make sure your supervisors are aware of the following information so they can perform their duties efficiently...

The role of Health &Safety Supervisors explained

While the term 'health &safety supervisor' isn't defined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and Regulations, it covers the supervision of any work performed and duties carried out, says the Health & Safety Advisor.

'It includes all levels of management and employees who have people working under their direct or indirect control.'

The responsibility starts with you and the person you assign (Health & Safety Supervisor) to ensure all employees comply with legislation.

Since the buck stops with you (employer) when it comes to workplace safety, you have a duty to ensure your Health & Safety Supervisors are aware of their responsibilities and that they carry them out efficiently.

Here's what yours needs to do…


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Health and Safety Supervisors have the following four responsibilities – make sure they're aware of them

#1: Your Health & Safety Supervisors have three areas of responsibility:

  1. Moral. There are morally responsible for taking care of the health and safety of all subordinates. Everyone should go home in the same condition as when they came to work.
  2. Financial. They have to see that employees work effectively to prevent injury to others, or damage to machinery and material (i.e. make as much profit at as little loss as possible).
  3. Legal. They must ensure employees comply with relevant legislation (OHSA).

#2: Your Health & Safety Supervisors must know the OHSA

  • They must be familiar with general duties of employers to their employees (Section 8 of the OHSA) and;
  • General duties of employers/self-employed people to persons other than their employees (Section 9 of the OHSA).

#3: Supervisors must be aware that the committee meetings consist of four items:

  • What happened at the previous meeting and any action taken;
  • Scrutiny of health and safety reports;
  • Examination and procedure followed for reportable accidents and incidents; and
  • Discussion of any matters the committee wishes to raise concerning Occupational Health and Safety.

#4: Health & Safety Supervisors must know how to report, investigate and prevent accidents and incidents

They must also know the details and circumstances of accidents to non-employees arising from work activities. And report these to the Department of Labour.

Not only do you need to ensure your Health & Safety Supervisors are aware of their duties, but you also need to ensure they perform these duties well. This will help ensure you're in line with the OHSA.

PS: We strongly recommend you check out the HSE Representative Toolkit. It has 67 checklists, tools and letters to free up 1 340 minutes of your time.

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