Responsibilities

The University is responsible to:

  • ensure that all the operations of the University comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations and all orders and requirements of Occupational Health and Safety Officers of the NS Department of Labour and Advanced Education;
  • ensure that all the operations of the University adhere to the Occupational Health and Safety Policy;
  • ensure that all the operations of the University adhere to the requirements of the University’s OHS Management System;
  • ensure that there is strategic direction and planning for the University’s OHS Management System and to implement the OHS Management System;
  • integrate occupational health and safety in the University’s business;
  • allocate resources for health and safety programs and initiatives;
  • ensure that program review or audit results of the OHS Management System are reviewed and appropriate action is taken; and
  • ensure that responsibility/authority for workplace health and safety is delegated to trained and competent personnel.
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Directors, Deans, Managers, Chairs and Supervisors 

Directors, Deans, Managers, Chairs and Supervisors are responsible to:

  • ensure compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations within the portion of the workplace under their supervision;
  • ensure that all the operations under their supervision adhere to the OHS Policy;
  • ensure that all the operations under their supervision adhere to the requirements of the OHS Management System;
  • integrate preventive health and safety practices into all activities;
  • ensure that information and training are provided to employees to protect their health and safety;
  • communicate information concerning workplace hazards and the necessary control procedures to be practiced to employees;
  • hold employees accountable for following Safe Operating Procedures (SOP);
  • supervise employees and review work processes to ensure that employees work in the manner required;
  • take action immediately upon any report or suspicion of unsafe or hazardous conditions or situations;
  • undertake workplace inspections and conduct investigations of incidents, unsafe work refusals, concerns and complaints related to observed or suspected health and safety hazards, encouraging full participation in such inspections and investigations by representatives of their area JOHS Committee;
  • cooperate with employees and the JOHS Committees to promote a healthy and safe workplace;
  • respond in writing to recommendations from a JOHS Committee, when requested, and within the deadline specified in the OHS Act;
  • cooperate with any person performing a duty under the OHS Act and regulations;
  • ensure that all orders from and requirements of OHS Officers of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education are satisfied in a timely manner and report all such activities, including progress reports, to the University OHS Office; and
  • co-operate with the staff of the University OHS Office in the evaluation of health and safety performance; and
  • provide feedback on the operation of the OHS Management System.

 

Employees

Employees are responsible to:

  • work in accordance with the OHS Act and regulations;
  • adhere to the OHS Policy;
  • adhere to the requirements of the OHS Management System;
  • adhere to other policies and procedures on healthy and safe job performance;
  • ensure that work activity and behaviour do not, through act or omission, place their own health and safety, or the health and safety of others, at risk;
  • report all workplace hazards and any health and safety concerns to their immediate supervisor in a timely manner;
  • report all personal injuries or work-related illness, property or equipment damage, and near-miss incidents to their immediate supervisor in a timely manner;
  • follow established Safe Operating Procedures and use machinery, equipment and materials only as authorized and as trained;
  • wear personal protective equipment as required and as instructed;
  • participate, wherever possible, in defining Safe Operating Procedures and in opportunities to protect and promote health and safety on the job; and
  • Co-operate with the University JOHS Committees, the University OHS Office, or any person performing a duty under the OHS Act and regulations.
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Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees

The OHS Act requires that employers with more than 20 employees have at least one Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee. 

 A  Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC) is a collaborative employer-employee body established to work together to address health and safety issues in the workplace and is responsible to:

  • perform the functions of a joint occupational health and safety committee as defined in sections 29, 30 and 31 of the OHS Act and as required by the regulations;
  • hold regular meetings in accordance with written Terms of Reference and maintain minutes and records of committee activities;
  • work cooperatively with management and employees to identify hazards to health and safety and provide input on health and safety programs designed to respond to the hazards;
  • work cooperatively with the employer in the investigation and resolution of health and safety complaints, concerns or work refusals;
  • work cooperatively with management in undertaking inspections, inquiries, and investigations concerning health and safety;
  • participate in the yearly review of the Occupational Health and Safety Policy;
  • advise on the development, implementation, and evaluation of the OHS Management System;
  • participate in the co-operative auditing of the workplace to determine compliance with occupational health and safety requirements; and
  • Develop written recommendations to management as considered appropriate.

Membership on the JOHSC should include someone authorized to make decisions about most OHS issues within the Committee’s area of responsibility.  The OHS Officer and the Director of Facilities Management, or designate, will act as advisors to the JOHS Committees.

A JOHSC is a committee made up of worker and employer representatives working together to identify and resolve health and safety problems in the workplace. To be successful, the Committee must meet regularly, operate in an atmosphere of cooperation and be effective in promoting and monitoring a sound occupational health and safety program.

While the employer is ultimately responsible for the overall safety program, the Committees are responsible for identifying and recommending solutions to problems.