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Mandatory postings in workplaces

mandatory workplace postings

As an employer, there are several documents that you must post in your workplace. Some postings are mandatory for all workplaces, while others depend on the nature of the business and the hazards present in the workplace.

This blog describes some of these mandatory postings and provides you links to some of these required postings.

Please note that posters that are sold by private companies do not comply with the legal posting requirements, so please make sure that the workplace posters you use are the official and most recent versions.

Employment Standards Act (“ESA”)

All workplaces that are covered by the ESA are required to put up a poster called Employment Standards in Ontario. Developed by the Minister of Labour, this poster provides a high-level summary of employers’ obligations and employees’ rights.

Employers must post the latest version of this poster in an area where it is likely to come to the attention of employees. Further, all employees must be provided with a copy of this poster within 30 days of when they begin working.

Note, this poster is provided in several languages, so if English is not the majority language of the workplace, then the poster must also be posted in the majority language –  if made available by the Minister of Labour. Multilingual material can be found on the Ministry of Labour’s website.

Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”)

Employers that are covered by the OHSA must display this poster titled “Health & Safety at Work: Prevention Starts Here” on the rights and duties of workers and employers. This poster also includes the contact number of the Ministry of Labour that is to be used for reporting work refusals, critical injuries, and fatalities.

Employers must also post a copy of the OHSA in the workplace. This Act contains safety regulations and outlines employee rights and responsibilities. It can be downloaded for free online here or hard copies can be purchased from ServiceOntario for $8 each.

In addition, under OHSA, employers must place the names and locations of their workplace Joint Health and Safety Committee members in a conspicuous place so that it is easy for employees to find. For example, a good location may be the lunchroom. A committee is required in each workplace that employs 20 or more workers.

If your workplace has more than 6 regularly employed workers, then you must prepare and post policies on health and safety, workplace violence, and workplace harassment. We can help you develop these policies. 

If your workplace has fewer than 6 regular employees workers, then there is no obligation to post the above three policies in writing unless ordered to do so by an inspector.

Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (“WSIA”)

Employers that are covered by the Workplace Safety Insurance Act must display the “in case of injury” poster that outlines steps workers need to take if there is an injury at work. The link above is to the newest version of the poster, released September 17, 2018. Although there is no date as to when employers must post this version, it is recommended that employers switch to this new version.

Smoke-Free Ontario Act (“SFOA”)

Employers that have an enclosed workplace or other smoke-free and vape-free places mentioned in the SFOA must post enough individual signs regarding tobacco and e-cigarettes or the combined version of the tobacco and e-cigarette signs. These signs must be placed at every washroom, entrance, and exit to make sure that all are aware that they cannot smoke tobacco or cannabis or vape anything in these areas. 

Areas where individuals are prohibited from holding or smoking lighted tobacco, lighted cannabis, using an e-cigarette, or consuming a prescribed substance in a prescribed manner include an enclosed workplace, enclosed public place, a school, a building of the grounds surrounding the building of a private school, a child care centre, and indoor common areas in buildings or university residences. Indoor common areas include, but are not limited to, elevators, hallways, parking garages, entertainment rooms, laundry facilities, and exercise areas. However, there are exemptions listed in the SFOA that allow a person to smoke or hold lighted tobacco or cannabis or an e-cigarette in an indoor room in a residence that also serves as an enclosed workplace if certain conditions are met.

Other Recommended Posters and Information to Have at the Workplace

Employers who use or store hazardous products at their worksites have additional duties under the OHSA such as ensuring that hazardous products are labeled and obtaining material and safety data sheets for hazardous products. For instance, safety data sheets should be made available in the workplace in order to provide training and instruction for workers.

Finally, to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”), employers with 50 or more employees must develop a Customer Service Policy and an Accessibility Plan. This Policy and Plan are to outline what actions the employer is taking to comply with AODA as well as so employees (and others) know what to expect regarding accessibility. 

This Policy and Plan can be posted in the workplace or on the employer’s website or in such a place as is reasonable.


You now have the tools to download, print, and post some of the posters that must be posted in your workplace. Please check with your employment lawyer whether others may be required at your workplace.

Employers in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario can download the First Reference compliance checklist, “Required workplace postings” for free here.

Employers in other provinces will find the required postings in The Human Resources Advisor™. Click here for a free 30-day trial and search for “postings required” (with quotation marks).

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Doug MacLeod, MacLeod Law Firm

Employment and labour lawyer at MacLeod Law Firm
For the past 30 years, Doug MacLeod, founder of the MacLeod Law Firm, a Canadian labour and employment law firm, has been advising and representing employers in connection with employee terminations. If you have any questions, you can contact him at 416 317-9894 or at Read more
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