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Understanding Newfoundland and Labrador’s Health and Safety Requirements

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  • Understanding Newfoundland and Labrador’s Health and Safety Requirements

As an employer, you play an important role in preventing workplace injuries and promoting a safe and healthy workplace. In fact, under the Newfoundland and Labrador Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS), you have a legal obligation to properly inform, instruct and supervise your employees and to do everything you reasonably can to protect them. 

What are my obligations under the OHS Act of Newfoundland and Labrador?
  • As an employer, you are subject to formal requirements regarding workplace safety. These could include a written occupational health and safety document and/or an internal health and safety program and committee. If your business handles dangerous equipment or substances, you may need to comply with even more requirements.
  • In Newfoundland and Labrador, failure to comply with the OHS Act is a punishable offence. Business owners found liable could be fined up to $250,000 and/or face twelve months in prison.

 

What are the First Aid requirements?

OHS requirements and First Aid requirements differ depending on the number of employees at a business. 

When an employee will be working alone:

  • Working Alone means a worker is employed in circumstances where assistance would not be readily available to them.
  • In situations where an employee will be working alone, a written Working Alone Procedure for checking on an employee must be created.

 

OH&S: For fewer than ten employees you must:

  • Print and keep a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act available for the employee(s) to access;
  • Have a Health and Safety policy written and posted in a prominent location at the workplace. Your CFIB Counsellor has templates for you to use;
  • Have a Worker Health and Safety Representative. (If you have fewer than 6 employees, and a representative is not practicable, you can have a Worker Health and Safety Designate);
  • Post the name of the Worker Health and Safety Representative/Designate in a prominent place at the workplace.

 

OH&S: For more than ten employees you must:

  • Print and keep a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act available for the employee to access;
  • Create a Health and Safety program. Your Counsellor has templates for you to use;
  • Form an OHS Committee;
  • Post the names of the committee members in a prominent place at the workplace;
  • Post the minutes of committee meetings in a prominent place in the workplace.

 

First Aid: For fewer than fifteen employees you need:

  • A written policy outlining the procedure for reporting injuries posted in a prominent place;
  • At least one worker with a valid emergency first aid certificate;
  • An emergency communications procedure including the name of the first aid certificate holder(s) and numbers/instructions for reaching the nearest emergency services;
  • A first aid register, to be kept with the first aid kit;
  • A #1 and #2 first aid kit, as specified in Schedules B and C of the Regulations.

 

First Aid: For more than fifteen employees you need:

  • A written policy outlining the procedure for reporting injuries posted in a prominent place;
  • At least one worker with a standard first aid certificate, plus another worker holding an emergency first aid certificate for each group of 25 workers or part of it in excess of 25 workers;
  • An emergency communications procedure including the name(s) of the first aid certificate holder(s) and numbers/instructions for reaching the nearest emergency services;
  • A first aid register, to be kept with the first aid kit;
  • A #1 and #3 first aid kit as specified in Schedules C and D of the Regulations.

 

**There are further requirements for workplaces with more than 200 employees. Please contact CFIB’s Business Counsellors for more information.***

 

Do I need to purchase special training?

Some of our members have gotten telemarketing calls from organizations who are trying to sell online training for occupational health and safety. Training is required for Worker Health and Safety Representatives, Worker Health and Safety Designates and certain members of Health and Safety Committees. This training must be done through a trainer approved by WorkplaceNL.

Do I need to allow health and safety officers into my business?
  • Health and safety officers are appointed under the authority of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • They are given the responsibility to enter and inspect workplaces to ensure a worker's right to a safe and healthy work environment, and to enforce provincial health and safety legislation.
  • If an officer arrives at your business, it is wise to confirm his or her identity and verify their credentials.

CFIB is here to help you!

In addition to health and safety requirements, there are several other compliance measures your business should be considering. You can always contact CFIB for further information, examples of a Health and Safety Policy, Emergency Communication Procedure, or more details on any Occupational Health and Safety issues at 1.888.234.2232 or email us at [email protected]