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Canada Labour Code

Version of section 135 from 2021-01-01 to 2023-01-11:


Marginal note:Establishment mandatory

  •  (1) For the purposes of addressing health and safety matters that apply to individual work places, and subject to this section, every employer shall, for each work place controlled by the employer at which twenty or more employees are normally employed, establish a work place health and safety committee and, subject to section 135.1, select and appoint its members.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) An employer is not required to establish a committee under subsection (1) for a work place that is on board a ship in respect of employees whose base is the ship.

  • (3) [Repealed, 2018, c. 22, s. 7]

  • (4) [Repealed, 2018, c. 22, s. 7]

  • (5) [Repealed, 2018, c. 22, s. 7]

  • Marginal note:Exemption if agreement

    (6) If, under a collective agreement or any other agreement between an employer and the employer’s employees, a committee of persons has been appointed and the committee has, in the opinion of the Head, a responsibility for matters relating to health and safety in the work place to such an extent that a work place committee established under subsection (1) for that work place would not be necessary,

    • (a) at an employer’s request, the Head may, in writing, exempt the employer from the requirements of subsection (1) in respect of that work place;

    • (b) the committee of persons that has been appointed for the work place has, in addition to any rights, functions, powers, privileges and obligations under the agreement, the same rights, functions, powers, privileges and obligations as a work place committee under this Part; and

    • (c) the committee of persons so appointed is, for the purposes of this Part, deemed to be a work place committee established under subsection (1) and all rights and obligations of employers and employees under this Part and the provisions of this Part respecting a work place committee apply, with any modifications that the circumstances require, to the committee of persons so appointed.

  • Marginal note:Posting of request

    (6.1) A request for an exemption must be posted in a conspicuous place or places where it is likely to come to the attention of employees, and be kept posted until the employees are informed of the Head’s decision in respect of the request.

  • Marginal note:Duties of committee

    (7) A work place committee, in respect of the work place for which it is established,

    • (a) shall consider and expeditiously dispose of complaints relating to the health and safety of employees;

    • (b) shall participate in the implementation and monitoring of the program referred to in paragraph 134.1(4)(c);

    • (c) where the program referred to in paragraph 134.1(4)(c) does not cover certain hazards unique to the work place, shall participate in the development, implementation and monitoring of a program for the prevention of those hazards that also provides for the education of employees in health and safety matters related to those hazards;

    • (d) where there is no policy committee, shall participate in the development, implementation and monitoring of a program for the prevention of hazards in the work place that also provides for the education of employees in health and safety matters related to those hazards;

    • (e) shall participate in all of the inquiries, investigations, studies and inspections pertaining to the health and safety of employees, including any consultations that may be necessary with persons who are professionally or technically qualified to advise the committee on those matters;

    • (f) shall participate in the implementation and monitoring of a program for the provision of personal protective equipment, clothing, devices or materials and, where there is no policy committee, shall participate in the development of the program;

    • (g) shall ensure that adequate records are maintained on work accidents, injuries and health hazards relating to the health and safety of employees and regularly monitor data relating to those accidents, injuries and hazards;

    • (h) shall cooperate with the Head;

    • (i) shall participate in the implementation of changes that might affect occupational health and safety, including work processes and procedures and, where there is no policy committee, shall participate in the planning of the implementation of those changes;

    • (j) shall assist the employer in investigating and assessing the exposure of employees to hazardous substances;

    • (k) shall inspect each month all or part of the work place, so that every part of the work place is inspected at least once each year; and

    • (l) where there is no policy committee, shall participate in the development of health and safety policies and programs.

  • Marginal note:Investigation — harassment and violence

    (7.1) Despite paragraph (7)(e), a work place committee shall not participate in an investigation, other than an investigation under section 128 or 129, relating to an occurrence of harassment and violence in the work place.

  • Marginal note:Information

    (8) A work place committee, in respect of the work place for which it is established, may request from an employer any information that the committee considers necessary to identify existing or potential hazards with respect to materials, processes, equipment or activities.

  • Marginal note:Access

    (9) A work place committee, in respect of the work place for which it is established, shall have full access to all of the government and employer reports, studies and tests relating to the health and safety of the employees, or to the parts of those reports, studies and tests that relate to the health and safety of employees, but shall not have access to the medical records of any person except with the person’s consent.

  • Marginal note:Meetings of committee

    (10) A work place committee shall meet during regular working hours at least nine times a year at regular intervals and, if other meetings are required as a result of an emergency or other special circumstances, the committee shall meet as required during regular working hours or outside those hours.

  • R.S., 1985, c. L-2, s. 135
  • R.S., 1985, c. 9 (1st Supp.), s. 4, c. 26 (4th Supp.), s. 2
  • 1993, c. 42, s. 8(F)
  • 2000, c. 20, s. 10
  • 2013, c. 40, s. 185
  • 2018, c. 22, s. 7
  • 2018, c. 27, s. 547
  • 2018, c. 27, s. 623
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