Health and safety management systems
As of July 1, 2022, if you regularly employ 20 or more workers, the Workers' Safety and Compensation Act (the Act) requires you to set up and maintain a health and safety management system (an HSMS).
We’ll be providing a guidance document on health and safety planning for employers with fewer than 20 workers in the near future.
What an HSMS is
The Act says an HSMS is “a co-ordinated system of procedures, processes and other measures that is designed to promote continuous improvement in workplace health and safety” (see section 25 of the Act).
An HSMS helps you
- to integrate health and safety into your daily work practices
- to build a system so that everyone at work knows their roles and responsibilities with health and safety
As the employer it is your responsibility to consult with your joint health and safety committee (JHSC) when developing your HSMS.
What’s in an HSMS
Your HSMS must have the following 12 elements. See our Health and Safety Management System Guide for more details.
- A health and safety policy that demonstrates your commitment to health and safety; and guides actions to protect and maintain your workers' health and safety.
- Details of hazard assessments that identify existing and potential hazards at the workplace; and state the measures you have taken to eliminate or control those hazards.
- An emergency response plan that identifies the people, resources and procedures in place to deal with emergencies.
- A statement of health and safety responsibilities at the workplace for the employer, supervisors and workers.
- Workplace inspections to check on the implementation of your HSMS.
- Written directions for when there are multiple employers at a workplace to ensure you properly co-ordinate health and safety, and select and monitor other employers at the workplace.
- Health and safety orientation and training for workers and supervisors.
- Investigating incidents and injuries. See our Serious Incident and Injury Bulletin for more on investigating and reporting.
- Worker participation in workplace health and safety efforts to prevent injuries and occupational illnesses.
- Employer’s expectations for reviewing and revising the HSMS to ensure it continues to support health and safety.
- Written expectations for maintaining required records such as equipment maintenance, permits, training.
- Additional content, specifically any other requirements that are set out in the Regulations or ordered by the board due to unique workplace health and safety requirements.
The Health and Safety Management System Guide explains the requirements for a workplace HSMS and includes templates to help workplaces.
To assist workplaces, modifiable versions of the following templates are also available separately.
- Health and Safety Policy template
- Emergency Response Plan template
- Additional considerations where there are multiple employers or self-employed persons at the workplace
- Worker Orientation Record template
- Summary Record of Training template
Contact us if you have any questions, we’d be happy to answer them.