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Wilfrid Laurier University Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management
September 24, 2017
Canadian Excellence

Understanding Your Supervisory Responsibilities

Supervisors have many responsibilities and duties they must complete on a daily basis.  Among the biggest responsibilities a supervisor will face, are their responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and Regulations. The OHSA specifies a supervisor's duty to ensure the safety of the workplace and the workers they supervise, regardless of the type of work the workers do.

The OHSA is based in the Internal Responsibility System, meaning all workplace parties have a responsibilitiy for maintaining a safe workplace. Supervisors play a critical role in the Internal Responsibility System. By ensuring workers have been protected from workplace hazards and by ensuring they work in compliance with the OHSA, Regulations and Laurier policies and procedures, supervisors are fulfilling their duties under the OHSA and more importantly ensuring their workers dont get injured.

Workers have a right to know about hazards in their workplace, and it's the supervisor's and the employer's responsibility to ensure this information is provided to the workers.

The following information is intended to provide supervisors with guidance, direction and essential health and safety information to assist them in taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of their workers.

Orientation Training for New Employees

Lauriers Health & Safety Orientation program informs workers of their rights and responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and provides hazard related and Laurier specific information in an effort to ensure the safety of the worker and the Laurier community.  It also provides a process for job specific training to be administered by the supervisor.

Orientation training is divided into three parts as follows:

PART 1 : Online orientation training (accessed by the employee through My Learning Space)

Employee logs into MyLearning Space using their Novell name and login, clicks on 'Self Registration' at the top of the homepage screen, then clicks on the 'Health and Safety Orientation for New Employees' and follows the prompts.

PART 2 : In class two hour orientation training (provided by SHERM)

This session will give participants an opportunity to ask questions, review portions of the training including legislated rights and responsibilities and also meet the SHERM staff. Please click here to register

PART 3 : Job specific orientation training (provided by the supervisor)


All New Employees

Transferred/Promoted Employees


Seasonal Employees





Young Workers


R Recommended

* Or a customized version of the training, that meets the needs of the department.

Young Worker Orientation 

Job Specific Training

Supervisors must always ensure that information and instruction is provided to all employees under their supervision.  Hazards must be identified and then controlled in a timely manner depending on the severity of the risk posed.  Information on those hazards must then be provided to the employee before the employee is exposed to the hazard.  

As a starting point, the following topics have been prepared to assist supervisors in providing health and safety information, specific to the department or faculty.  By clicking on the links provided below, additional information can be accessed to assist with training.  Any additional hazards specific to the position should be covered and also documented.

It is important to always document all training provided to employees and retain the records in the employee's file.  This will not only allow proper tracking of employee training, it will also provide supervisors with documentation to show their due diligence. 

Follow the applicable links below to access information to aid the job specific training and then download the Job Specific Health & Safety Orientation Checklist to document the training, ensuring the signature portion is also completed.

For more information on SHERM's orientation training, please refer to our Health and Safety Orientation for New Employees procedure.  For more information on additional training required according to position, please refer to the Training Requirements for Laurier Employees.