Pre-start Health & Safety Reviews
In accordance with current Ontario Ministry of Labour legislation, the employer is responsible for providing a safe workplace by protecting their employees from any hazards. They must ensure that a professional has provided a Pre-Start Health and Safety Review (PSR) or equivalent documentation, showing compliance with the relevant sections of OHSA Section 7.
WHAT IS A PRE-START HEALTH AND SAFETY REVIEW (PSR) AND WHEN IS IT REQUIRED?
A PSR is required whenever a new, used or modified piece of equipment, structure or process is constructed, added or installed in the workplace. This includes new and used steel racking, lifting devices and processes that include flammable or hazardous chemicals. A written report details the measures (steps, actions or engineering controls) necessary to bring the construction, addition, installation or modification into compliance with the Ontario Health and Safety Act; specifically Regulation 851 and its related documents. The PSR is undertaken before start-up and ideally at the design stage. The employer must address any measures necessary to bring the equipment, structure or process into compliance before production begins.
WHO CAN CONDUCT A PSR?
A PSR is to be conducted by a Professional Engineer who has received a Certificate of Authorization from the Professional Engineers Ontario organization (PEO) and has appropriate Liability Insurance as required by the Professional Engineering Act, or by a person who possesses special expert or professional knowledge appropriate to assess any potential hazard.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PSR REPORT?
A PSR report must be dated and signed by the reviewer and include details of the measures required to ensure the equipment, structure or process is in compliance with the relevant provisions listed under Section 7 of OHSA. If the reviewer is a professional engineer, his or her seal must be affixed to the report. If the reviewer is not a professional engineer, he or she must include the details of his or her professional knowledge or qualifications in the report.
HOW SHOULD RECORDS BE KEPT?
PSR reports shall be kept readily accessible in the workplace together with any supplemental documentation and be provided to the Joint Health and Safety Committee or health and safety representative before the apparatus, structure or process is put into use.
WHO MUST HAVE ACCESS TO THE REPORT?
The PSR report and documentation may be reviewed, on request, by a Ministry of Labour inspector or by the company’s Joint Health and Safety Committee or health and safety representative.