Mandatory “Prevention Starts Here” awareness poster now available for download

Friday, June 08, 2012

NOTE: The poster in PDF format MUST be printed and posted in the workplace.

Employers can now obtain a free new workplace poster "Health & Safety at Work – Prevention Starts Here" in English, French and 15 other languages.

Under the OHSA, employers are required to post the Act and any explanatory material prepared by the Ministry, which includes this poster. However, the Ministry wants to ensure that employers have sufficient time to become aware of the new requirement to post the poster. Inspectors will begin enforcing this requirement effective October 1, 2012.

The poster summarizes workers’ health and safety rights and responsibilities and the responsibilities of employers and supervisors. It also reminds employers that they must not take action against workers for following the act or for raising workplace health and safety concerns, and seeking enforcement of the OHSA. The poster encourages workers to get involved in health and safety and explains when and why to contact the Ministry of Labour.


In March, 2010, the Minister of Labour appointed an Expert Advisory Panel to review Ontario’s occupational health and safety system. The Panel included representatives of organized labour, employers, and the academic community. Throughout 2010, the Panel consulted extensively with stakeholders across the province to identify structural and operational improvements to the occupational health and safety system, which includes the prevention of workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities, and the enforcement of occupational health and safety legislation.

On December 16, 2010, the Minister accepted the Panel’s report and its 46 consensus recommendations.

In one of its high priority recommendations, the Panel advised the Ministry of Labour to "create a health and safety poster that explains the key rights and responsibilities of the workplace parties, including how to obtain additional health and safety information and how to contact a Ministry of Labour inspector. It should be mandatory to post this in the workplace."

The Panel found that many workers had little or no understanding of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, including their rights and obligations as workers or the obligations of employers and supervisors. The Report advised that a health and safety poster be made available in multiple languages.

The Ministry’s development of this poster was aided by public consultation from mid-December 2011 to mid-February 2012.