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    The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) establishes the rights and duties of all parties within the workplace with the focus being the protection of workers from injury while on the job. The Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) is the government authority that enforces the OHSA when compliance has not been achieved through the internal responsibility of an employer. This mandate for the ministry involves a wide range of business sectors that cover the majority of Ontario workplaces. Application of the Act to such an extensive group of workplaces is addressed by the specific regulations established by the Ontario government.

    Regulation 851 was developed to address the issues specific to all industrial establishments such as factories, offices, arenas, or shops operating within Ontario. It is for this reason that Regulation 851 covers a broad range of requirements on topics such as industrial hygiene, machine guarding, fire prevention, confined spaces, equipment maintenance, material handling, and protective equipment. Certain Sections of Regulation 851 require the preparation of a written report to provide a permanent record regarding the occurrence of health & safety issues. In particular, Section 7 requires preparation of a written report detailing the measures that must be taken for compliance with the relevant provisions listed in the Table1. These reports are referred to as "Pre-start Health & Safety Reviews" and their application as described in the regulation is as follows:

    The Act reads:

    A pre-start health and safety review is required if, in a factory other than a logging operation, a provision of this Regulation listed in the Table applies and the circumstances described in the Table will exist,
    1. because a new apparatus, structure or protective element is to constructed, added or installed or a new process is to be used; or
    2. because an existing apparatus, structure, protective element or process is to be modified and one of the following steps must be taken to obtain compliance with the applicable provision:
      1. New or modified engineering controls are used.
      2. Other new or modified measures are used.
      3. A combination of new, existing or modified engineering controls and other new or modified measures is used.

    Provision Table


    Applicable provisions of Regulation 851



    Subsections 22 (1), (2) and (4)

    Flammable liquids are located or dispensed in a building, room or area.


    Sections 24, 25, 26, 28, 31 and 32

    If any of the following are used as protective elements in connection with an apparatus:

    1. Safeguarding devices that signal the apparatus to stop, including but not limited to safety light curtains and screens, area scanning safeguarding systems, radio frequency systems and capacitance safeguarding systems, safety mat systems, two-hand control systems, two-hand tripping systems and single or multiple beam systems.

    2. The barrier guards use interlocking mechanical or electrical safeguarding devices.


    Clause 45 (b)

    Material, articles or things are placed or stored on a structure that is a rack or stacking structure.


    Section 63

    A process involves a risk of ignition or explosion that creates a condition of imminent hazard to a person's health or safety.


    Section 65

    The use of a dust collector involves a risk of ignition or explosion that creates a condition of imminent hazard to a person's health or safety.


    Sections 87.3, 87.4, 87.5 and 88, subsections 90 (1), (2) and (3), and sections 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 99, 101 and 102

    A factory produces aluminum or steel or is a foundry that melts material or handles molten material.


    Sections 51 and 53

    The construction, addition, installation or modification that relates to a lifting device, traveling crane or automobile hoist.


    Sections 127 and 128

    This process uses or produces a substance that may result in the exposure of a worker in excess of any occupational exposure limits as set out in Regulation 833, 835, 836, 837, 838, 839, 840, 841, 842, 843, 844, 845 or 846 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990.

    1 From Section 7, Ontario Regulation 851 as amended by O. Reg. 528/00, Occupational Health and Safety Act

    Click on the links provided below for additional information on laws and standards applicable in Ontario:

    • MOL (GOVERNMENT) -- Ontario Ministry Of Labour (Guidelines for Pre-Start Health and Safety Review: How to Apply Section 7 of the Regulation for Industrial Establishments)

    • MOL (GOVERNMENT) -- Ontario Ministry Of Labour (General Information)

    • CSA -- Canadian Standards Association

    • ANSI -- American National Standards Institute

    • ISO -- International Organization for Standardization

    • ASME -- The American Society of Mechanical Engineers

    • NFPA -- The National Fire Protection Association

    Still have questions or require a Pre-Start Health and Safety Review?

    Contact us and ask to speak with one of our industrial health & safety specialists.

    Click on the link below for a PDF version of our Industrial Health & Safety brochure.

    June 2005

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    Last Modified: Tuesday July 12, 2005
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