Health & Safety Corporate Responsibility Enforcement

Many of us have Corporate Responsibility Statements as part of our corporate philosophy, mantras, in our vision, missions and value statements, but do we live up to our corporate responsibilities when it comes to health and safety? 

The provincial governments across Canada have or are in the process of redesigning and evaluating their health and safety legislations, compliance mandates and enforcement of legislative requirements.  Ontario has recruited new health and safety inspectors with the hope of educating and enacting compliance, reducing the number of injuries and deaths across the province and enforcing corporate responsibility. 

Do you know what to do when a Health and Safety Inspector comes knocking on your door?

Do not:

• send them away because they do not have an appointment,

• tell them that you do not have time to see them, or

• get upset with them. 

Inspectors are authorized to conduct workplace inspections and investigations to determine whether employers are in compliance with safe and healthy workplace standards in the province. Should an Inspector come to your door:

• Politely invite them in and ask if they would like a cup of coffee (do not panic);

• Ask to see their credentials – (Badge, Photo ID and Business Card). If they do not have proper  ID, ask them for a phone number to phone and confirm who they are;

• Contact your company Health & Safety Representative to respond to the situation;  and

• Ask the Inspector to state the purpose of the visit (employee complaint, targeted inspection, accident, etc.)  Oblige them with the information they request in a timely manner.

In preparation for a smooth workplace inspection, first ensure your Internal Responsibility System is up to date and that you have conducted your required inspections of the facility and documented them. Ensure all other health and safety requirements have been met or exceed the regulatory requirements.  An Internal Responsibility System or IRS is not the US Internal Revenue Service we so often here about, it is Government legislation, mandatory across the country with a Health and Safety focus. The IRS is the very foundation of health and safety in the workplace, establishing workers and employers responsibility for their own safety, for the safety of their co-workers and for development of your Health and Safety Management System within the organization.  

For more information contact your Human Resources professional or Lynne Bard, President and Senior Consultant of Beyond Rewards Inc, a preeminent human resources, risk management and training consulting firm based in Guelph, Ontario.  Contact Lynne at


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