The Occupational Health and Safety Act has listed down the following duties of a supervisor, which he or she must comply with:
Duty 1 – Covered under Sec 27(1)(a) “The worker must be in compliance”
The first duty the Occupational Health and Safety Act lays for the supervisor is that he or she must ensure that the worker works in compliance with the Act and the regulations. The Act states that a supervisor ought to know the regulations based on the industry.
Duty 2 – Covered under 27(1)(b) “The Employer’s Rules”
As per this duty, a supervisor has to ensure that a worker has to use or wear the right equipment, protective devises, or clothing that the employer requires to be used or worn. Moreover, a supervisor has to ensure that the worker uses or wears the protective equipment beyond what the regulations prescribe, which is a vital element since the regulations may not cover all workplace hazards.
Duty 3 – Covered under 27(2)(a) “Duty to tell”
The Act requires that a supervisor shall advise a worker about the existence of any potential or actual danger to the health and safety of the worker of which the supervisor is aware. It is important to note that this is a regulation independent duty where a supervisor would have to tell his workers about workplace hazards known to him or her even if the employer isn’t aware of it. Moreover, a supervisor has a ‘duty to tell’ workers about potentially violent co-workers or violent non-employees.
Duty 4 – Covered under 27(2)(b) “Written instructions”
As per this duty, a supervisor shall, where so prescribed, provide the worker with written instructions with regard to measures taken for protecting the worker. Further, these written instructions given to the workers would be those that are specifically mentioned in the regulations. This is to ensure that a supervisor doesn’t provide written instructions for everything.
Duty 5 – Covered under 27(2)(c) “General duty”
The regulation pertaining to the general duty of a supervisor states that a supervisor has the duty to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker. Although this might sound deceptively simple, this is one of the most important clauses in the Occupational Health and Safety Act. It is important to note that the first four duties are part of due diligence procedures as a defense, but the fifth one is due diligence itself as a duty.