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committees (JHSCs), moved Ontario toward a model under which emphasis was placed on having employees and employers regulate their own working conditions. The Internal Responsibility System was first suggested by the 1976 Ham Commission and it was anticipated that making both workers and employers responsible for OHS would be more effective and less costly (Lewchuk et al., 1996; Walters, 1983).

More extensive omnibus legislation in OHS was introduced to the Ontario legislature in October 1977 and led to the 1979 Occupational Health and Safety Act (Bill 70). Bill 70 formalized the Internal Responsibility System and the establishment of JHSCs became mandatory in firms employing more that 20 people or when ordered by the Minister.

A review of Bill 70 showed that a number of OHSMS components were mandated by the Act in workplaces with over 20 employees (see Lewchuk et al., 1996 in Table H.2).

In the province of Québec, landmark OHS legislation in 1979, Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail (LSST) (in English, ‘Act Respecting Occupational Health and Safety’), created La Commission de la Santé et de la Sécurité du Travail (CSST). The CSST had a mandate to act as the workers’ compensation insurer and had the responsibility for direct regulatory control over OHS in the province. The CSST was mandated to administer the Act and six other acts pertaining to the health and safety of workers (CSST, 1988). The Act included the right to refuse hazardous work, the creation of JHSCs, the requirement of a prevention program, and the right of protective reassignment (Lanoie, 1992). Protective reassignment and right to refuse applied to all employees in all Quebec workplaces, whereas JHSCs and prevention programs applied only to firms with 21 or more workers in specific, higher risk, industry sectors. The CSST had the authority to serve violation notices to firms that failed to submit copies of their prevention program or if the submitted prevention program was inadequate (CSST, 1987).

A review of the requirements of the Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail indicated that many OHSMS elements were not specifically covered and the Act did not require integration of health and safety with other management activities (see Dufour et al., 1998 in Table H.2).

Institute for Work & Health

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