OHS Policy and Program

Every worker in Newfoundland and Labrador has the right to a healthy and safe workplace. An OHS policy or program outlines what is acceptable from a health and safety perspective at a specific workplace. It demonstrates that an organization takes the health and safety of its employees seriously, showing commitment and building trust. They are also essential to create a positive health and safety culture at a workplace.

An OHS policy must communicate the employer’s commitment to a healthy and safe workforce, be signed by senior management, be reviewed regularly, and updated as needed. When drafting such policies, it is important to incorporate the responsibilities of all workplace parties (employer, supervisor, worker, etc.).

An OHS program is a system to manage health and safety issues in the workplace. It must include an OHS policy, as well as additional elements necessary to prevent injury and illness at the specific workplace.
Like an OHS policy, a program must be reviewed regularly and updated as needed.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations state that where 20 or more workers are employed at a workplace, the employer must establish and maintain an occupational health and safety (OHS) program.

What are the key elements of an Occupational Health and Safety Program?

Duties of Employers and Workers in OHS

Employers and employees have a personal responsibility and accountability for workplace health and safety. This is also referred to as an Internal Responsibility System (IRS). Employers are responsible for developing safe work practices, providing adequate training and making employees familiar with hazards in the workplace. Employees follow the safe work practices, participate in the training and report hazards.

What are the employers' duties?
What are the workers' duties?
What are the workers' rights?


Guide to OHS Legislation AppOHS Employer Guide 2023OHS Program – Program ElementsOHS Program Element 1 – What is Leadership and Administration?OHS Program Element 10 – What is disability management?OHS Program Element 2 – What is an OHS committee, representative or designate?OHS Program Element 3 – What is OHS education and training?OHS Program Element 4 – What is OHS communication?OHS Program Element 5 – What are safe work practices and procedures?OHS Program Element 6 – What is hazard recognition, evaluation and control?OHS Program Element 7 – What are workplace inspections?OHS Program Element 8 – What is an incident investigation?OHS Program Element 9 – What is emergency preparedness and response?Workers Right to Refuse CardsWorking From Home (WFH) Overview and Checklist 2023