Occupational health and safety (OHS) officers issue orders to get regulated parties to follow OHS legislation.
The OHS Act gives officers authority to issue orders, which requires work site parties to take measures that result in compliance with the OHS legislation.
Orders are documented on a contact report. The contact report identifies:
- the section of legislation the order is issued under
- officer observations
- what a regulated party has to do to be compliant with legislation
- the date compliance has to be achieved by
Contact reports must be posted at a work site until all orders in the contact report are complied.
Types of orders
Compliance orders note an observed non-compliance, and require action by a specific date. In some circumstances, OHS may grant an extension for compliance.
Stop use orders
Officers have authority to stop use of equipment that’s observed to be unsafe, or that has the potential, in the officer’s opinion, to seriously injure workers. A stop use order is lifted when the requirements of the order are met.
Stop work orders
When an OHS officer observes that work is being done in an unhealthy or unsafe manner for workers, the officer may issue a stop work order. This order requires that work is stopped immediately, and may apply to an entire work site, multiple work sites, or to certain activities or areas of a work site. A stop work order is lifted when the requirements of the order are met.
OHS directors have additional authorities above those of an OHS officer. These include but are not limited to:
- stopping work on a project
- establishing a code of practice
- establishing a health and safety program
- requiring a prime contractor, contractor, owner, employer, supervisor or self-employed person to carry out regular work site inspections, as specified by the director
- filing notice of new projects
In case of any inconsistency between this information and the OHS Act, Regulation or Code, the legislation will always prevail.
Orders may be issued to any of the work site parties described in Part 1 of the OHS Act.
Request a review of an OHS order or decision
As an employer, worker or affected party, you can ask OHS to review an order or decision made by an OHS Officer. Find out how to request a review of an OHS order or decision.
To connect with OHS: