Engineers and the OHSA Introduction

In 1996, the government of Ontario began to move toward deregulation (i.e., removal of workplace health and safety controls and restrictions). To maintain its commitment to protect the public’s health and safety, however, the government placed more responsibility for safety standards on professional engineers and industry.

Owners and employers must now obtain the services
of professional engineers. Organizations that employ engineers must ensure that their engineers have the necessary safety training. Industry, when seeking safety engineering services, must employ only professional engineers who are qualified and experienced in safety engineering.

Private-sector engineers must be knowledgeable of all relevant safety legislation and must be trained in safety legislation and other specialized safety topics.

Since government professionals no longer double-check safety engineering work, engineers are responsible for protecting their employers from liability (legal responsibility for accidents, injury or death.)

What is the role of the Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO)?

The PEO must inform Ontario engineers of the transfer of health and safety responsibilities from government engineers to the private sector. The PEO will demonstrate its members’ competence and accountability for this work to the government and the public.

Nadia Elghary, M.Eng., P.Eng, “P. Engs and Workplace Safety,” Engineering Dimensions, 1996