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Information for Small Business

Note: The following is not meant to provide comprehensive information and guidance to employers in the construction industry. Employers should always refer to the specific requirements of the applicable standard jurisdiction in the Newfoundland and Labrador Occupational Health and Safety Act, Canada Labour Code or requirements administered by the Canada Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board for a comprehensive listing of health and safety responsibilities and regulations.  

What is a small business?

Small businesses are those that have less than 10 employees.

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What the law says

While the Occupational Health and Safety Act specifically states that an employer with 10 or more workers must have an OHS Program, it also requires that small business have many of the elements of a program in place.  For example, all employers, whether large or small, must conduct regular hazard assessments and inspections.   All employers must ensure that their workers receive appropriate training, information and instruction to keep them safe.  All employers are ultimately responsible to ensure that the work being conducted does not cause harm to anyone at or near the workplace.

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How the Occupational Health and Safety Act affects your small business

Some small business owners incorrectly believe health and safety legislation does not apply to them. However, everyone has the responsibility to keep their workers safe and to demonstrate that they have made reasonable efforts to do so.

Employers with less than 10 workers must have a written Health and Safety Policy that states the roles and responsibilities with respect to workplace health and safety.  In addition, all employers must have an Early and Safe Return to Work Policy and both policies must be posted in the workplace. 

For workplaces with less than 10, but more than five (5) people, a Worker Health and Safety Representative must be appointed and trained.  For workplaces with fewer than five (5) people, the owner or manager of the business may fill this role as the Workplace Health and Safety Designate.  These individuals are responsible to, among other things, monitor the health, safety and welfare of workers.

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What you can do

We know that it can be a challenge to know all the health and safety requirements that apply to your business.  We know that you may not have the resources to hire an individual to oversee safety in your workplace and that, as the owner of the business, the responsibility often falls on your shoulders.  We believe that every employer needs a health and safety program that protects their interests and benefits their workers.

Through the NLCSA Certificate of Recognition™ (COR™) program, we assist employers in developing and implementing health and safety programs and processes that make sense for the size of their business and the type of work that they do.  Our team of Safety Advisors is here to help along the way so that you don’t have to engage a consultant or hire a safety professional.  In fact, once you have completed our COR™ training program, you will have the basics of your health and safety program developed.  You just need to customize it to meet your specific needs.

If you are a construction employer, in order to qualify for a PRIME refund from the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WorkplaceNL), you must be COR™ certified and in good standing at the end of the calendar year

What to do if there’s an injury at your workplace

In the event of an injury, employers must:

All serious injuries must be reported.  For provincially regulated workplaces, call the Accident Reporting Line at 709-729-4444  For federally regulated workplaces call 1-800-641-4049.

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Sections of the NLCSA Website You May Find Useful


You may consider a number of NLCSA programs designed to help your organization remain compliant to Health and Safety Legislation and to create an effective health and safety culture. The National Construction Safety Officer (NCSO™) Program is designed to train and educate individuals within your organization to take a health and safety leadership role. The Certificate of Recognition™ (COR™) Program is a health and safety certification program for construction industry employers designed to assist in the development and maintenance of a company-wide health and safety management program. Firms receive accreditation upon completion of COR™ training, development, and implementation of a company-wide safety program, and internal and external safety reviews.

Supervisor Bootcamp is another program offered by NLCSA. Supervisor Bootcamps are specifically designed to help new or existing supervisors with leadership skills as well as help them understand their specific responsibilities related to health and safety in the workplace. Please contact us if you would like more information on the Supervisor Bootcamp program.

Training Courses and Schedule

If you are interested in training, click here to access information on our courses and schedule. We maintain records of all training completed though the NLCSA, another way that we’re helping employers. The NLCSA also offers demand training so if you are looking for a course, a specific date or location that’s not on our schedule, call us at 1-888-681-SAFE (7233) to ask for a quotation.

News and Events

Click here to see up to date news and events listings posted to our website. For more news, industry developments, and other useful updates related to the construction industry in Newfoundland and Labrador, sign up for NLCSA’s free e-news service by clicking on the link under the Distribution List heading below.

Feedback and Suggestions

We are always interested in your ideas and feedback. Feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions here.

Safety Resources

For access to a host of health and safety resources such as materials, legislation, posters, videos, brochures and other useful information, click here.

Distribution List

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This is a section specifically designed to provide you with tailored information. Feel free to let us know other information that you would like to see added to this section by clicking here.

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