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Regulation Review & Definitions

In Chapter 1 we will review basic principles of workplace safety and preparation.



CHAPTER 1 – Regulation Review

Responsibility and Duty:

Occupation Health and Safety (OH&S) legislation imposes a duty on an employer to protect its workers. Legislation also imposes a duty on workers to report hazards and work safely.

It is everyone’s responsibility and duty to:

  • Report spills quickly and correctly.
  • Clean up or restore the site to pre-spill conditions.

Emergency Response Plans:

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (provincial, territorial or federal) typically shows clear requirements that the workplace must have an emergency response plan:

  • An employer must establish an emergency response plan for responding to an emergency that may require rescue or evacuation.
  • An employer must involve affected workers in establishing the emergency response plan.
  • An employer must ensure the emergency response plan is current.

Contents of the Plan:

  • Identification of potential emergencies
  • Procedures for dealing with the identified emergencies
  • Identification, location, and operational procedures for emergency equipment
  • Emergency response training requirements
  • Location and use of emergency facilities
  • Fire protection requirements
  • Alarm and emergency communication requirements
  • First aid services required
  • Procedures for rescue and evacuation
  • Designated rescue and evacuation workers

Rescue and Evacuation Workers:

  • An employer must designate workers who will provide rescue services and supervise evacuation procedures in an emergency.
  • A employer must ensure that designated rescue and emergency workers are trained in emergency response appropriate to the work site and the potential emergencies identified in the emergency response plan.
  • The training must include exercises appropriate to the work site that simulate the potential emergencies in the emergency response plan.
  • The training exercises must be repeated at the intervals required to ensure that the designated rescuer and vocational workers are competent to carry out their duties.


  • An employer must provide workers with personal protective clothing (PPE) and equipment appropriate to the work site and the potential emergencies identified in the emergency response plan.
  • Workers who respond to an emergency must wear and use personal protective clothing and equipment appropriate to the work site and the emergency.

Reporting Regulations:

In each province or territory, there are regulations such the Release Reporting Regulation / Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act that sets out reporting requirements on the following:

  • What must be reported
  • When to report
  • How to report
  • To whom reports must be made


Important Terms and Their Definitions:

Adverse Effect
Damage to the environment, humans, their safety and/or property.

Category 1
Low risk and internally manageable.

Category 2
High risk and requires a team response.

A serious and unexpected situation that requires immediate action.

Emergency Response Plan (ERP)
Procedures that assign resources and responsibilities to site-specific situations.

Emergency Response Team (ERT)
Selected individuals trained for site-specific emergencies. Includes Coordinators, Commanders and Managers.

Air, land, water, organisms, and their interacting systems.

Practices and simulations to prepare for real emergencies.

External Resources
Public responders, government agencies, consultants, contractors, suppliers.

A source of potential adverse effects. It can be a situation, a product, or person that poses danger or risk.

Internal Resources
Emergency ResponseTeam (ERT), Incident commanders, Managers.

Spill, discharge, deposit, leak, emit, empty, throw, dump or exhaust.

Reportable Spill
A release of a substance that exceeds regulation guidelines or poses a risk (i.e. released into a watercourse, groundwater or surface water).

A situation involving exposure to a hazard or danger. It is a measure of the probability and severity of an adverse effect.

Matter that is capable of becoming dispersed into the environment or being transformed into something dispersible. It can also be sound, vibration, heat, radiation or other forms of energy that are capable of posing a risk to the environment.


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