Supervisors play a vital role in the safety of their teams. But not every supervisor understands their obligations.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (Bill 26) recently clarified the responsibilities of supervisors. 

We know you want to keep your teams safe. If you want help understanding what constitutes competent and sufficient supervision, or if you’re not sure how these obligations fit within your workplace, give us a call 1 800 999-9775.

This wheel demonstrates the unique and shared responsibilities of supervisors, employees and employers. A full list of your obligations with helpful resources follows.

Know your role. Keep your employees safe.A supervisor is a person authorized by an employer to supervise or direct the work of employees. This includes people from first-level supervision on the shop floor, to the manager, to the CEO. A supervisor's responsibilities include:

  • Primary responsibility: safely direct work assigned by the employer
  • Ensure employees comply with the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act and regulations
  • Take every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of employees
  • Inform employees of the hazards associated with their work
  • Inform and instruct employees to ensure their safety
  • Enforce company safety rules, programs, codes of practice and procedures
  • Follow all safety rules
  • Participate in training
  • Report hazards and injuries to employer
  • If a current member, participate on joint health and safety committee (JHSC)
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE)

We want to profile New Brunswick supervisors committed to engaging their teams in health and safety. Know one? Send us a message!  

An individual or company can be prosecuted if they don't follow the requirements of the OHS Act and the regulations. Here are examples of supervisors who were recently prosecuted:

An employer employs one or more employees. An employer's responsibilities include:

  • Ensure employees including supervisors comply with the OHS Act and regulations
  • Take every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of employees
  • Assign competent supervisor(s) with sufficient knowledge to ensure the health and safety of employees
  • Ensure supervisors provide sufficient (adequate) supervision to ensure employees under their direction are carrying out the work safely
  • Ensure supervisors are knowledgeable about all the work of the employees under their direction and supervision
  • Provide information, instruction and training to employees to ensure their health and safety
  • Report workplace incidents to WorkSafeNB
  • Develop safety policies, procedures, codes of practice and health and safety programs
  • Develop an inspection program and conduct monthly inspections
  • Maintain tools, machines and equipment
  • Establish, support and ensure effectiveness of a JHSC
  • Provide new employee orientation and training
  • Provide PPE

An employee is a person employed at a workplace. An employee's responsibilities include:

  • Report workplace injuries and illness to employer
  • Ensure own health and safety
  • Ensure health and safety of others
  • Participate in training 
  • Report hazards and injuries to supervisor or employer
  • Wear and maintain PPE as instructed


OHS guide topic

Wheel poster

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Roles poster

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Who is a supervisor 

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