Health & Safety Representatives

Health & Safety Representative

A Health and Safety Representative (H & S Rep) has a vital role to play in protecting the health and safety of everyone at the workplace. Having a designated person on the site to deal with any concerns about workplace hazards demonstrates to workers that the employer is committed to protecting them.

Many small businesses that are not large enough to require a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) rely on their H & S Rep to bring forward any health and safety issues that need attention. Unfortunately, many H & S Reps do not have the necessary training to recognize or resolve these issues.

A Health and Safety Rep is required when:
  • More than 5 and less than 20 workers are regularly employed at the workplace

  • More than 5 workers are regularly employed at a construction project and the work is expected to last less than 3 months.

The consequences of not having a well-trained H & S Rep are seen too often. Workers can suffer lost income or a lower quality of life due to a critical injury. Families can lose a loved one to a workplace fatality. Employers can lose a valuable employee and production days. They may even have to replace damaged material and equipment and pay higher compensation costs.



Section 8 of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) outlines the duties and powers of H & S Reps. A new amendment to this section, subsection 5.1, requires the employer or constructor to ensure that H & S Reps receive training that enables them to exercise their powers and perform their duties effectively. While this amendment has not yet been put into force, it is recommended that all H & S Reps receive training in order to do their jobs well.

H & S Reps have many of the same responsibilities and powers as members of a JHSC. Because of that, it makes sense that they should receive the same training. IHSA recommends that all H & S Reps take a JHSC Certification course.


JHSC Certification – Part One covers the essentials of being H & S Rep and includes modules on legislation, health and safety hazards, workplace inspections, and incident investigations.


So far this year, the health and safety record for IHSA rate groups has been troubling when compared with previous years. This is especially true in the construction and transportation rate groups. We recommend that H & S Reps in these sectors take JHSC Certification – Part Two in addition to Part One.


The good news is that it's not too late to reverse this upward trend of workplace injuries. By upgrading their knowledge, H & S Reps can protect themselves and their coworkers from workplace hazards by identifying and addressing potential problems before they become an issue. For more information about H & S Reps, download the Guideline for Health & Safety Representatives (W002).

IHSA offers our JHSC courses free to our members, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Become a part of the solution to make Ontario workplaces safe and healthy. Register today!


Course Offerings


Joint Health and Safety Committee Certification – Part One


Session Details

City: Any
Region: Any

Session Details

City: Any
Region: Any

Session Details

City: Any
Region: Any

Social Networks

Join us on some of the following social networks. Follow our daily tweets on twitter. Browse our video archive on Vimeo and subscribe to our channel on YouTube.

© Copyright Infrastructure Health & Safety Association. All rights reserved.