BOD Decision - 2004/09/14-03 - Amendments to Occupational Environment Requirements of the OHS Regulation
Part 4 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation contains requirements relating to washroom facilities, eating areas and change areas. The current requirements are outdated. They are based on previous legislation dating back about 30 years, and only apply to factories, offices and shops.
During its meeting on September 14, 2004, the Board of Directors approved amendments to Part 4 to expand the scope of the requirements' application from factories, offices and shops to all workplaces. The amendments also cover worker health issues in other workplace settings such as outdoor worksites and situations where workers are constantly traveling from one site to another (e.g., transit workers).
A new requirement has also been approved to ensure that workplace water sources that are not suitable for human consumption are identified. This situation may occur where the water supply of an industrial establishment is located away from municipal water supplies. The requirement is for an employer to identify and post a notice at those non-potable water sources that "a person might reasonably believe he or she can safely drink".
In addition, in response to submissions received during the March 2004 public hearing and further review of the proposal, the proposed requirement for workers to abide by an employer restriction on the storage or consumption of food was deleted because it did not address an occupational health and safety concern. This requirement was originally proposed to address the consumption of food or beverages in work areas where they may pose a risk to workplace products or processes (e.g., spilling coffee on a computer keyboard). It is important to note that the new requirement for employers to provide a place for workers to store and consume food in such circumstances is maintained because workers must be able to store and consume food at the workplace in order to maintain their health and safety.
The amendments come into effect on January 1, 2005.