Workplace Hazard Reporting and Investigation


Category: Health and Safety
Subject: Workplace Hazard Reporting and Investigation
Division: Administrative Services
Procedure Number: CA.56.02.104
Effective Date: August 17, 2016


The core foundation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations is based on the Internal Responsibility System (IRS) which is a system, within Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH), where everyone has direct responsibility for health and safety as an essential part of his or her job. It does not matter who or where the person is in the organization, they achieve health and safety in a way that suits the kind of work they do. Each person takes initiative on health and safety issues and works to solve problems and make improvements on an on-going basis. They do this both individually and co-operatively with others, the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) and the Emergency Preparedness Health and Safety Officer.


The Workplace Hazard Reporting and Investigation procedure provides a means for all employees to report workplace health and safety hazards and allow employees to participate in the process to ensure a safe workplace.

  1. All employees are responsible for notifying their Manager/Supervisor of the absence of or defect in any equipment or protective devices, any contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act or regulations, and the existence of any hazard that he/she is aware of (see flow chart in Appendix A).
  2. The Manager/Supervisor, once notified, shall investigate the reported health and safety hazard, as soon as possible with the employee that identified the hazard. The Manager/Supervisor will document the concern raised by the employee, the investigation actions taken and investigation results. A copy of this report (in email format) will be provided to the Health and Safety/Emergency Preparedness Officer. If no hazard is found to be present no further action is required. If a health and safety hazard does exist, employees will follow the following procedure.
Stage 1 – Hazard Resolved at the Manager/Supervisor Level
  1. The Manager/Supervisor shall take action to resolve the hazard by doing one or more of the following, starting with action item a):

a)Assess the hazard and determine if immediate interim actions are required for the protection of the health and safety of employees and/or visitors;
b)Take action on his/her own to resolve the hazard;
c)Provide instructions and direct other employees to resolve the hazard; and
d)Consult with other employees; such as Facilities Management staff, the Emergency Preparedness Health and Safety Officer or other qualified management staff to further investigate. 

  1. The Manager/Supervisor shall inform the employee that raised the hazard, as well as any other employees affected, of the action taken or to be taken to address the hazard.
  2. The Manager/Supervisor shall follow-up to ensure that action has been taken and that hazard identified by the employee is resolved.
  3. If a hazard remains unresolved at the Manager/Supervisor level employees should follow the next stages below:
Stage 2 – Hazard Not Resolved by Manager or No Action Taken
  1. If no action is taken to resolve a hazard or the hazard is not resolved, the employee should notify a JHSC member about the hazard. The employee must provide a written description of the hazard, how the issue developed, the present status, what actions have been taken so far (if any), who is affected and any recommendations to resolve the issue.
  2. The JHSC member shall notify the Emergency Preparedness Health and Safety Officer to further investigate the hazard.
  3. The JHSC member shall notify the employee of the action taken or to be taken or recommendations made to the employer by the JHSC.
  4. If a formal recommendation is made by the JHSC the employer has 21 days to give a response, in writing, to recommendations made. If in agreement with the recommendations, the employer must provide a time frame to implement the recommendations. If not in agreement, the employer must provide a reason(s) for disagreeing.

The JHSC member shall follow-up with the employee with respect to the action taken.

Stage 3 – Employees Still Not Satisfied with Outcome with the Resolution of Health and Safety Hazard
  1. If employees are still not satisfied with the outcome of the health and safety hazard, he/she may call the Ministry of Labour (1-877-202-0008).  Employees will be required to provide a written description of the hazard, how the issue developed, and actions taken so far to resolve this matter, the present status and who is affected.
  2. A Ministry of Labour inspector may investigate the hazard and render a decision. The employee that raised the hazard and the JHSC member may be asked to be present during the investigation.

Important Notice

Reporting a hazard or unsafe conditions does not of itself amount to a work refusal. For a work refusal to be initiated, the employee must communicate his or her intention to refuse to work. See policy CA.56.01.120 Refusal to Work.


Corresponding Policy:  Agency Health and Safety Policy
CA.56.01.120 Refusal to Work
Occupational Health and Safety Act


Emergency Preparedness/Health and Safety Officer


Director, Administrative Services