Reporting Health & Safety Issues
The Importance of Reporting
Reporting a workplace hazard not only makes good sense, it’s your legal duty. The Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA) requires that workers must report to their supervisors “the existence of any hazard of which he or she knows.” When you make a report, the principal and the school board are required to investigate and deal with your concern.
You don’t need to wait until the monthly health and safety inspection to report. Do it right away. The sooner the report is made, the sooner the principal can work on finding a solution, leading to a healthier and safer work environment for us all.
How to Report
Reporting to your principal can be done in any of a variety of ways – by email, in person, over the phone, on paper – but PETL strongly recommends reporting by email. Keep the email short, naming the hazard, its location, and asking that it be remedied. State the issue right in the subject line.
TO: your principal
SUBJECT: Health and safety hazard, loose tread on North stairs
The rubber tread is tearing away from one of the steps in the North stairwell. Slip, trip and fall hazard. Please remedy.
If the report was made verbally, it is recommended that you send a follow-up email.
Please note that the person you must report the hazard to is your principal. Telling your school’s health and safety designated worker, steward, custodian, or any other staff person does not meet your obligation to report to your supervisor.
What to Expect After You Make a Report
After reporting a health and safety concern to your principal, he or she will attempt to resolve the issue and will keep you apprised of the status of the solution. If the principal is unable to resolve the concern, he or she will bring it to the attention of their supervisor, the Board’s Health & Safety department, or other appropriate Board personnel.
What if the Issue is Not Resolved?
If your concern is not resolved satisfactorily or within a reasonable about of time, please call the PETL executive liaison for your school. The issue should also be brought to the attention of the PETL Occupational Health & Safety Teacher Advisor, Lisa Marie Gonsalves, who is a representative on the Multi-Workplace Joint Health and Safety Committee (MJHSC). Lisa can be contacted at 905-564-7233 or firstname.lastname@example.org.