Top TEN Contraventions in the Community Service & Hospitality Industries

Being aware of workplace health and safety hazards helps reduce the risk of incidents, injuries, and illnesses and creates a positive and productive working environment. It also helps to ensure that employers comply with relevant health and safety legislation, protecting them from legal action. Below are the TOP TEN contraventions in the Community Service and Hospitality industries. Being aware of these can help you control the hazards before they cause harm.

Top TEN Contraventions

1. Establishment of OH&S Committees – Saskatchewan Employment Act 3-22

Every place of employment where ten or more workers of one employer work are required to have an OH&S Committee. This committee must have at least two members, represent both the employer and employees, and meet no less than once every three months.

WHY? This committee is an integral part of your Safety Management System that helps you see, hear and respond to the health and safety of employees and the workplace.

Resource: Spotlight on Safety Committees ServiceHospitality TV episode

Training: Your Safety Committee & the Law

2. Fire Safety Plans – OHS Regulation 30-12

Employers are responsible for ensuring they have taken all reasonably practicable steps to prevent a fire outbreak and to provide effective means to protect workers from any fire that may occur. This must be documented in a written fire safety plan that provides for the safety of all workers in the event of a fire.

WHY? Because when a fire breaks out, it is too late to develop a plan that saves lives and property.

ResourcesEmergency Plan template, Emergency Response Drill template

Training: Emergency Response Planning

3. Duty of employer to provide information – OHS Regulation 3-4

An employer must make readily available for reference by workers a copy of the Saskatchewan Employment Act and the Saskatchewan Occupational Health & Safety Regulations. To fulfill this requirement, ensure you have a physical copy of both publications in an area where staff congregate, such as a staff room. Or, have a PDF copy on the desktop of a staff-accessible computer. If you have a copy, but it’s locked away in a manager’s desk somewhere, you’re at risk for this contravention.

WHY? The Right to Know and the Right to Participate come from access to information.


Training: Health and Safety Leadership

4. Frequency of Meetings – OHS Regulation 4-4

The OH&S Committee is required to hold its first meeting within two weeks of being established. Three subsequent meetings must be held at intervals not exceeding one month. After that, hold regular meetings at intervals not exceeding three months.

WHY? This committee helps to review safety policies and procedures and plays a crucial role in workplace inspection and incident investigations. This cannot occur effectively without regular meetings.


Training: Your Safety Committee & the Law

5. Training of OH&S Committee Members – OHS Regulation 4-9

OH&S Committees play an important role in helping the employer ensure the workplace is a healthy and safe one. In order to do this effectively, OH&S Committee (co-chairs at a minimum) are required to receive training respecting the duties and functions of a committee.

WHY? This committee would not be effective without understanding OH&S legislation, its roles and responsibilities, how to perform proactive inspections, or how to identify the true causes of incidents and implement effective controls.

Training: Your Safety Committee & the Law

6. First Aid Register – OHS Regulation 5-8

Most workplaces have first aid kits, but did you know your first aid kit must also contain a first aid register (or logbook)? This register must be updated each time a supply item is removed from the kit with a description detailing the first aid treatment administered to a worker. The OH&S committee should inspect this register at regular intervals.

WHY? By studying this register, you gain insight into minor and near-miss incidents, which are a ‘warning bell’ of a bigger incident to come if control measures are not put in place.

Resources: First Aid Register template

7. Compressed and Liquified Gas Systems – OHS Regulation 25-13

Employers must develop and implement written procedures for safely installing, using and maintaining compressed or liquified gas systems. Ensure the procedures are readily available for all employees to reference. The employer must also ensure all workers are trained in safety procedures.

WHY? From beverage dispensers, pool, maintenance and mechanical to oxygen for a client, using and storing these cylinders can be fatal to people and businesses if it is not done right.

Resources:  Safe Work Procedure Template

8. Safeguards – OHS Regulation 10-4

Employers must provide an effective safeguard when a worker may contact a dangerous moving part of a machine, a pinch point, cutting edge, open flame, steam pipe or other surfaces that exceed temperatures as referenced in regulations.

WHY? Because we’re human. Being new, in a hurry, distracted or not feeling well, whatever the reason, safeguards protect us from ourselves.


9. Harassment – OHS Regulation 3-25

On the top 10 list since 2016, Harassment contraventions continue to plague the service and hospitality industries. The employer’s responsibility to ensure the safety of the entire workplace includes a workplace free from harassment.  All workplaces must implement a harassment policy and post a copy of the policy in a conspicuous (easily accessible and noticeable) place that is readily available for reference by workers.

WHY? Policies alone do not prevent harassment, but they do lay the foundation for accountability, awareness and training and give all employees the capability to recognize and take action.


Training: Harassment Prevention in Hospitality: Beyond the Policy

And, tied for the 10th spot…

10. Violence – OHS Regulation 3-26

Most businesses in the community service and hospitality industries are required to have a violence policy due to the nature of the work being performed. Ensure your workplace avoids this contravention with a well-developed and compliant violence policy.

WHY? Violence can happen in any workplace at any time, and it is a good practice for all businesses to have a practised plan in place. For community-based operations and intervention services, security and taxi service, animal clinics with pharmaceuticals and more, it is a requirement you prevent and plan for it.


10. Electrical Panels – OHS Regulation 30-12

Commonly overlooked are electrical panels. To remain compliant with this regulation, employers must ensure that every electrical panel is approved for the intended use and location of the panel is protected from physical or mechanical damage, readily accessible, and has an approved filler in any unused opening. Are you storing those extra storage boxes in front of your electrical panel? Time to move to them in order to prevent this contravention.

WHY? Put up your hand if you have ever heard in the news of a fire due to faulty wiring in a local business. Don’t become one of those statistics.

Resources: Inspection Checklist template

Training: Workplace Inspections

10. Supervision of Work – OHS Regulation 3-6

In the workplace, employers shall ensure that ALL work at the place of employment is sufficiently and competently supervised. Supervisors should have sufficient knowledge of Their legal responsibilities as it pertains to organizational health and safety.

WHY? In almost all workplace incidents where an incident involving a worker occurs, the supervisor is contravened and sometimes charged for “insufficient supervision”. Supervisors are liable for the work of the workers they oversee and for implementing and upholding the employer’s policies and procedures.

Resources:  Safety Article: Safety is Serious Business – For Senior Management & Supervisors

Training: Health and Safety Leadership

 If you have any questions or need assistance regarding any of these contraventions, click here to contact one of our safety advisors today! 


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