Building a Health and Safety Board for Your Farm

Am I Posting the Right Materials for Compliance?
March 3, 2017
Mental Wellness on the Farm
June 14, 2019

Building a Health and Safety Board for Your Farm

Requirements of Health and Safety board under the OHSAct

At-A-Glance: The law requires employers share specific health and safety information with their employees. This can be accomplished with a health and safety board in a common area on the farm.

Under the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act, every workplace, no matter the size, must have health and safety policies and posters visible for all employees in the workplace. To accomplish this, it is best to create a health and safety communication board that has all of the poster and materials in one place. Health and safety boards must be located in public or common areas. I recommend taking a large cork board and hanging it up in your lunch room, or in a visible area that employees will pass by on a regular basis.

Your health and safety board is required by law to have the six following items. All of these items can be downloaded or ordered in hard copies from www.ontario.ca/page/posters-required-workplace

  1. Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)

You can print out a copy from www.ontario.ca/page/posters-required-workplace#section-4 or you can hang the small green book on the board. I suggest you purchase the consolidated edition which contains the regulations.

2. Health and Safety at Work: “Prevention Starts Here” Poster

You can print out a copy from www.ontario.ca/page/posters-required-workplace#section-2

3. In Case of Injury (Form 82) Poster

You can print out a copy from www.ontario.ca/page/posters-required-workplace#section-3

4. Farm’s Health and Safety Commitment Statement Policy

This is your farm’s commitment to health and safety policy. This is required if you have five or more employees. Included in this policy should be: a health and safety commitment statement, worker health and safety awareness, manager/supervisor health and safety awareness, and workplace violence and harassment policy.

5. Name(s) of the health and safety representatives

For farms with one to 19 full-time employees, there must be at least one health and safety representative. Their name should be posted on the health and safety board. If your farm has 20 or more employees, it is required to have a joint health and safety committee, and names of the committee members should be posted on the board as well. Please note the health and safety representative cannot be a management team member who has the responsibility to hire, discipline or terminate. 

6. Workplace Violence, Harassment, Bullying and Sexual Harassment Commitment Policy

You must also have a health and safety, workplace violence, bullying, harassment and sexual harassment policy and procedure. This policy and procedure must be reviewed and revised every year.

The Employment Standards Act, Version 8.0 poster is no longer required to be posted in the workplace, however, it is mandatory to distribute it to all employees and provide proof that you have done so. I recommend including it in part of the new hire package. https://files.ontario.ca/employment-standards-in-ontario.pdf

When bringing on a new hire, and you are giving a tour of your workplace, ensure you are showing new employees the health and safety board.

The six requirements listed previously is not enough to fully complete your health and safety board. View the accompanying checklist to see everything you should have on your health and safety boards. Failing to have a health and safety board can result in a work order and fines.

Health and Safety Board Checklist

  1. Current edition Ontario H&S Act and Regulations (green book)
  2. Worker Health and Safety Awareness in 4 steps (green booklet)
  3. Supervisor Health and Safety Awareness in 5 steps (Yellow booklet)
  4. Health and Safety at Work: Prevention Starts Here (poster)
  5. Safety Concern Reporting Form
  6. Emergency Contact Numbers
  7. Emergency Evacuation Map
  8. Workplace Violence, Bullying, Harassment and Sexual Harassment Complaint Reporting Form
  9. Emergency Evacuation Procedures (booklet)
  10. Health, Safety and Environmental Commitment Statement (poster – signed and dated 2019)
  11. Harassment and Violence Workplace Violence, Bullying, Harassment and Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedure (poster – signed and dated 2019)
  12. In Case of Injury at Work (1,2,3,4 poster)
  13. First Aid Requirements (booklet)
  14. Health and Safety Representative Names or JHSC Certificate
  15. Certified First Aid Provider Certificate (valid)
  16. GHS Pictograms and Hazards (poster)
  17. Completed monthly inspection from previous month.

It is required by law under the OHSA that workplaces must be inspected every month.

  1. Last week’s monthly safety talk
  2. MOL Reports (if any)
  3. Incident Investigation Report Form