Your Safety: Safety rights and responsibilities

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Rights and responsibilities – Contractors/constructors and owners

The relationship between constructor/contractor and owner is rather complex. On construction projects, it is important to clearly define who is the contractor/constructor and who is the owner. The constructor/contractor is responsible for safety on the construction site.

Duties of contractors/constructors
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), constructors/contractors are employers, with exactly the same duties towards their workers.

In addition, contractors/constructors are given the specific responsibility to ensure that:

the measures and procedures in the act and regulations are carried out on any project that they undertake
every employer and worker on the project complies with the act and regulations
all reasonable precautions are taken to protect the health and safety of workers on the project, or at or near the workplace

Duties of owners
The act outlines specific duties for a person who owns a workplace that is not a construction project. Some of their duties include:

ensuring that workplace facilities are provided and maintained in compliance with the Act and regulations
ensuring that the workplace complies with the regulations
ensuring that no workplace is constructed, developed, reconstructed or altered, except in compliance with the act and regulations
providing workplace drawings, plans or specifications to a director of the Ministry of Labour, where required
complying with the act and regulations regarding designated substances
informing any employers who occupy their land or premises of any necessary health or safety information

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