Not all City employees have regular access to the Intranet or have email accounts. For those staff who wish to formally report a hazard, the Hazard Reporting Form is available for them to use. The Hazard Report Forms are available on the HR Web at or on the health & safety bulletin board in your workplace. It is strongly suggested that workers complete the form when they report hazards. Furthermore, supervisors who are verbally notified of hazards should clearly encourage workers to complete the form.
If it is possible for workers to correct or eliminate hazards themselves, they should do so. The hazardous condition should, however, still be reported using the reporting form so the supervisor is aware that the hazard was identified and addressed. This will assist in communicating the potential hazard to other workers.
The worker completes Step 1 on the form and is asked to be as detailed as possible. The more thorough the information on the form, the better understood the issue will be.
Date of Report (yyyy-mm-dd):
The date the report is drafted and sent to the supervisor
Name of Worker (First, Last):
The name of the worker identifying the hazard
The name of the work group of the reporting employee – e.g. EMS North West Ops; Transportation Services, North York District, Long Term Care Homes & Services, Cummer Lodge; etc.
Name (First, Last) of the Supervisor Hazard Reported to:
The worker identifies the name of the immediate supervisor who is about to receive the form. It is important that the worker identifies this person so the chain of responsibility may be established
Description of the hazard:
The worker needs to be as descriptive and expressive as possible in describing the hazard. The location (where) of the hazard, name (what) of the equipment or device, its condition (bent, broken, leaning, cracked, slipping etc) and other characteristics (colour, sound, taste and smell) should all be identified. Consider including the time of day the hazard is present.
Suggested Corrective Action (if any):
Workers working with the machine or performing the task are the most knowledgeable and intimate with the process, therefore it is reasonable to ask them to provide a suggested solution to the problem.
Note that reporting the hazard to the immediate supervisor for review and correction is a Legal Duty for the worker reporting the hazard required under the Occupational Health & Safety Act and is the first and the best method to have the issue corrected.
To ensure that the respective Joint Health & Safety Committee is notified of the reported hazard, the worker will also complete Step 1A. The names of the JH&SC Co-Chairs are found on the local Health & Safety Bulletin Board. One copy of the Hazard Reporting Form is sent to the supervisor the hazard is report to and another copy to the JH&SC Co-Chairs. The worker should retain a copy.
At any stage, the worker reporting the hazard may enlist the support of their Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC) or Health & Safety Representative (H&S Rep), whose role it is to facilitate discussions between the employee and supervisory level in remedying the hazard. At all times, the JH&SC/H&S Rep, Human Resources/Divisional Occupational Health & Safety staff and Union Health & Safety Staff and employee must first allow the supervisor the opportunity to address the hazard.
Upon receiving the Hazard Reporting Form, the immediate supervisor assesses the hazard using the Workplace Hazard Assessment Tool on the back of the Hazard Response Form. The purpose of the tool is to determine the significance of the hazard. The assessment considers the severity of the hazard, the number of people exposed, and the probability the hazard could resulting in an accident. These criteria will help the supervisor determine if the reported hazard is a Class A, B or C Hazard, thereby dictating the urgency with which it must be addressed. In some circumstances, these criteria may also assist the supervisor in identifying that the issue being raised is not a health and safety hazard and should therefore be addressed using other available mechanisms.
The supervisor needs to visit, observe and investigate the reported hazard to properly assess the hazard. This should be done as soon as possible. Furthermore, the supervisor should perform the assessment while talking to the worker as well as other workers in the area to enable understanding of the concern.
The supervisor identifies, on the assessment tool, the work area where the hazard is located. Examples below may be:
- File room, 5 West, City Hall
- Kitchen, TPS Station 45
- Carpenter’s shop, Building C, 1050 Ellesmere
- Parking Lot, Humber Bay Treatment Plant
- Paint Shop, Toryork Drive
The supervisor then identifies on the assessment tool the type of hazard reported. Examples below may be:
- Air Quality/Ventilation
- Temperature (hot or cold)
- Work Practices/Procedures
- Material Handling
- Psycho-social (Stress, anxiety, frustration)
- Fire or Flood
- Technology Failure
- Interruption of Utility (e.g. power outage)
By identifying the type of hazard, the supervisor will have a better understanding of its scope. Thorough identification of the type of hazard is possible only by observing the hazard.
The supervisor then identifies specifically what the reported hazard is. Examples may be:
- Defective or missing machine guard on punch press
- Pulled carpeting
- Leaking pipe
- Missing guardrail on stairs
- Leaking hydraulic cylinder
- Inappropriate or ill fitting PPE
- Smell of solvent
- Noise from sorting machine
- Lack of eye wash stations
The purpose of the Workplace Hazard Assessment Tool is to determine how significant the reported hazard actually is, and whether or not adequate controls are in place to protect City staff (or possibly the public) from the identified hazard(s). It is very important to determine that any identified current hazard controls actually work. For example, referring to a past Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Report that identifies acceptable IAQ for a reported air quality hazard may not be an adequate control if the report is five years old and the layout and staff size of the workplace has changed. Similarly, training (as a control) may not be adequate if the training is outdated as new equipment or processes have been introduced since the training was last delivered. When determining the significance of a hazard, whether it is a Class A, B or C Hazard, the risk will not be fully known until the presence and adequacy of the available controls are determined.
If controls are not present, let alone adequate, the risk is greater, which will assist in determining the action plan to address the hazard.
The assessment tool examines three criteria that when added together will determine the significance of the hazard. The three criteria are:
- Hazard Severity
- Frequency of Exposure
- Probability of the hazard resulting in an accident or injury
When taken together, Severity + Frequency + Probability will determine the Hazard Significance. Depending on the sum weight of the three criteria, significance will result in either a Class A, Class B, or Class C Hazard.
Class A Hazards are high risk hazards that may result in
- Critical Injury
- Permanent Disability
- Extensive loss of structure, equipment, material or process
Class A Hazards warrant the highest level attention. They call for immediate, comprehensive, and imaginative corrective action measures to remedy the problem which may include stopping the work.
Examples of Class A Hazards could be, but are not limited to:
- Unguarded machinery
- Exposed electrical wiring
- Flammable chemicals or materials stored next to heat sources
- Absence of Lockouts for equipment maintenance
- Falling hazards greater than 3 meters
- Unprotected trench or excavation walls
- Smell of gas
- Entry into untested confined spaces without the proper safety equipment
Class B Hazards are medium level hazards that may result in:
- Lost time injury/temporary disability
- Medically attended injury
- Disruption of work process
- Property damage less severe than a Class A Hazard
This type of hazard is not immediately dangerous but if left unattended, the situation would deteriorate and injury could occur. These must be corrected as soon as possible.
Examples of Class B Hazards could be, but are not limited to:
- Tasks requiring heavy lifting
- Tasks requiring high repetition of movement
- Objects and trip hazards on the floor
- Spills on the floor
- Performing tasks without the proper PPE
- Protruding metal and sharp objects that can cut
- Improper equipment set up and use (e.g. ladders)
Class C Hazards are low level to zero risk hazards that may result in:
- No injury/illness
- First aid attention
- No disruption of work process
- No property damage
Class C hazards may or may not be health or safety concerns. If a health and safety concern, they may be administrative in nature or very low risk. Rather than safety issues, they may be operational issues or items better dealt within in a different venue. They may be general maintenance items that should be addressed but pose no immediate concern. Plan to correct at a future date, as appropriate, depending on the circumstance of the hazard – i.e. cracked window, leaking tap, loose handle. Such issues should be recognized as operational or maintenance, rather than health and safety hazards.
Class C Hazards could be, but are not limited to:
- A loose bracket
- Leaking tap
- Loose handle
- Sticking wheel on a cart
- Cracked window
- Dust on a surface
- Missing or stained ceiling tile
Once the supervisor has completed parts 1, 2 and 3 of the Assessment form, the supervisor is then asked to calculate the severity, frequency and probability of the reported hazard on part 4 of the form.