Ministry of Labour

It's Your Job

Stay safe at work

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) sets out the rights and duties of all workplace parties. It establishes procedures for dealing with workplace hazards and it provides for enforcement of the law where compliance has not been achieved voluntarily.

Every day in Ontario, an average of nearly 20 young workers under age 25 sustain lost-time injuries or are killed on the job. Don't get hurt at work! Protect yourself!

By law, you have the right to:

You must:

12 Tips for Staying Safe at Work

  1. Get training: Learn how to work safely. Follow the rules and know what to do in an emergency.
  2. Be supervised: Supervisor, will you be here to see that I do the job right? If you're not around, whom should I ask?
  3. Wear the gear: Hair nets, gloves, aprons, safety glasses, ear plugs, etc. Use them properly as required.
  4. Identify risks: Before you start the job, report unsafe practices and situations to your supervisor or employer.
  5. If you don't know, ask! There are no 'dumb' questions. Learn about your rights and duties under the OHSA.
  6. Do your job: Don't do anything you haven't been asked to do, or have been told specifically not to do.
  7. Follow the safety rules: And if you don't know the safety rules, ask your supervisor.
  8. Report hazards: Tell your supervisor if you see anything hazardous, even if it involves another worker.
  9. If you're hurt: No matter how minor, report injuries to your supervisor or employer and tell your family.
  10. Talk to your family: Tell them what you're doing at work. Let them know if you think something's wrong.
  11. Be honest: If a task is too much for you, say so! Don't attempt something that you can't handle.
  12. Never assume: Don't assume you can do something without instruction, guidance or supervision.

Call 1-877-202-0008 toll-free anytime to report critical injuries, fatalities, work refusals or other concerns. Call 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday, for general inquiries about workplace health and safety.

In an emergency, always call 911 immediately.

( TTY: 1-855-653-9260 )

Learn more:

It's your job to protect yourself.

Ministry of Labour

It's Your Job

You have rights at work.

The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) sets minimum standards for things like pay, work hours and time off. Most workplaces in Ontario must follow this law. Your rights are the same whether you work full-time or part-time.

The basics

1.    Payday

Expect a regular pay day and a pay stub that is clear. Keep a record of the hours that you work.

2.    Deductions from wages

Some employers require you to pay for your uniform. Deductions from your wages to pay for a uniform may be made only if you agree in writing to have a specified amount deducted.

If a customer leaves without paying, or your error costs your employer money, that amount cannot be deducted from your wages. Learn more about deductions from wages.

3.    Where's the poster?

Your employer should have the ESA Poster displayed where you can read about some of your ESA rights. Learn more about the ESA poster.

4.    What is work time?

Time spent in training that is required by the employer or by law counts as work time. If you have to transport materials from the workplace to another job site, that is work time, too. Learn more about hours of work.

5.    Can I be required to work on a public holiday?

If you work in a hotel, motel, tourist resort, restaurant, tavern, hospital or an establishment with continuous operations, you may be required to work on a public holiday. If you work on a public holiday, you are entitled to premium pay. Learn more about public holidays.

6.    Special rules

Some jobs have special standards or exemptions. Learn more about industries and jobs with exemptions or special rules.

7.    What's my vacation pay?

Vacation pay is at least 4% of wages (excluding vacation pay). Any vacation pay not already paid is owed to you when your employment ends. Learn more about vacation time and vacation pay.

8.    Are you a 'temp'?

Temporary employees generally have the same rights as other employees under the ESA. Learn more about working for a temporary help agency.

Learn more:

416-326-7160 (Greater Toronto Area)

1-800-531-5551 (Toll-free)

1-866-567-8893 (TTY for hearing impaired)

It's your job to know your rights.

Note: This document is provided for your information and convenience only. It is not legal advice. For complete information, please refer to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and its regulations and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.