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Small Business

Roadmap for Small Business

Machine guarding

Prevent injuries and illness. Protect your bottom line.

Grow Your Business

Attention to health and safety is not just about obeying the law and being socially responsible, it makes good business sense.

What The Law Says

Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) states that employers must take every reasonable precaution to protect workers, provide information and instruction, and to ensure that workers properly use or wear the required equipment.

Employers require a health and safety representative (between 6 and 19 workers) or a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) for 20 or more.

If you hire workers (including family members) or are an independent operator in construction, you must register with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

Be Prepared For New Workers

Minimum age requirements, competent supervision and management commitment = safe and successful.

Make sure new workers know their rights before they start the job.

Provide a thorough introduction to the workplace, all the safety features, rules and general information.

Every worker and supervisor in Ontario must receive health and safety awareness training.

Don’t Have Time?

Need to get it done in a hurry? Get a hazard assessment and the policies and procedures you need customized to your requirements.

Follow the road map
to health and safety.



Post the following documents on a bulletin board:


First Aid at Work

First Aid at Work

First Aid is the immediate care given to a person who is injured or who suddenly becomes ill.  It can range from cleaning a cut and applying a bandage, to helping someone who is choking or having a heart attack.
655 KB 
What To Post

What To Post

A list of legislative reference or best practice posters to post in your workplace, and where to find them.
434 KB PDF



  DO IT 

Identify hazards, prioritize them and then control the highest risk hazards first.

The best way to control a hazard is to eliminate it from your workplace.
Health and safety training is a legal requirement and is crucial in preventing injuries and illness.
Some areas where you need to train your employees are listed below:
  • All workers and supervisors require health and safety awareness training
  • WHMIS for those that work with or in proximity to a hazardous material
  • First Aid training - minimum one worker per shift
  • Use of required personal protective equipment
  • When exposed to a biological, chemical or physical agent
  • Using a nailing gun, working with electricity or a lifting device
  • Work in confined spaces


Ministry of Labour Awareness Training
Available through the ministry are free Supervisor and Worker e-learning modules and training workbooks. This is also where you can obtain the poster that must be displayed in all workplaces.


Health and Safety Representatives

Health and Safety Representatives

Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act (the Act) is built on the principle that workers and employers must work together to identify and resolve health and safety problems in the workplace. To meet this goal, health and safety representatives are required by law in a large number of Ontario workplaces [section 8(1)]. This document provides answers to commonly asked questions about health and safey representatives.
355 KB pdf



If it’s not written down, then it didn’t happen as far as the law is concerned.

Keep records of:
  • Safety training
  • Inspections and maintenance of equipment and personal protective equipment
  • Non-compliance with policies and procedures and what you did about it
  • Injuries/illness and what you did to prevent reoccurrence




Complete detailed workplace inspections and every time you walk through do a visual assessment. Watch for the following hazards (your worksite may have hazards not cited here):

  • Lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling
  • Repetitive work
  • Slippery, uneven floors
  • Work on ladders or raised areas
  • Machines with moving parts where body parts or clothing could get drawn in
  • Cell phones used while driving
  • Noise
  • Toxic materials
  • Dusts, vapours, and fumes in the air
  • Bodily fluids
  • Noxious plants (e.g. poison ivy)
  • Animals, their waste and bodily fluids
  • Flammable/combustible materials
  • Damaged or overloaded storage racks
  • Work on machines that are not locked out
  • Cold or hot environment
  • Non-ionizing and ionizing radiation
  • Violence risk factors - harassment, contact with irate customers, working with cash and at night


Workplace Inspection Recording Form

Workplace Inspection Recording Form

Joint health and safety committee members can use this form to help classify hazards during workplace inspections.  Revised August 2012.
243 KB pdf
Fire Protection

Fire Protection

This guideline is designed to help you develop a fire protection program, or to identify areas in your existing program that may need improvement.
377 KB pdf




Good reporting and management helps get injured workers back to work quickly and saves money.

If the injury is a “critical injury”:
  • The Ministry of Labour must be called immediately
  • The scene preserved and an investigation must be performed
Employers must report a work related accident/ illness to the WSIB if:
  • Medical aid is required
  • Wages are lost or
  • Modified work at regular pay for more than seven calendar days is required


Injury and Illness Reporting Policy

Injury and Illness Reporting Policy

This sample outlines the injury and illness reporting policy for a sample company. In accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, all injuries and illnesses for the sample company will be handled in the manner outlined in the policy.
178 KB PDF
Investigation Report (Form)

Investigation Report (Form)

Use this form to identify incident information, cause analysis, controls, costs and action plans.
412 KB pdf
Investigation Report Form (Instructions)

Investigation Report Form (Instructions)

These instructions will guide you in the use of the "Investigation Report Form" that helps to identify incident information, cause analysis, controls, costs and action plans.
499 KB pdf



Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) is a leader in providing impactful risk management solutions that drive lasting business success for our customers.

Visit the WSPS Small Business Training and Products page for a comprehensive list of training, products, information and consulting resources.