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Occupational Health & Safety: Codes, Standards & Legislation

Types of Standards

Voluntary Standards

"These are standards whose use is theoretically voluntary, but in practice is widely adopted for the sake of ease of manufacture, interchangeability, and safety. Virtually all industrial standards are voluntary standards."   The link to the CSA standards is below.

Mandatory Standards

"Mandatory standards are, in effect, laws. Failure to follow them could result in legal penalties and liability. They are generally adopted out of concern for safety, and promulgated by the Federal government or one of its agencies or departments. Codes are groups of standards on the same topic, generally created for government agencies, and are thus mandatory standards."  Find the links below.

Read more on the many Types of standards.


CSA Online: Canadian Standards Association. For help, check the image below:

  1. Type the standard number next to My Library
  2. Click on your number, all previous editions of your standard will show up (in English or French)
  3. Then click on the standard for the year you want. It will be highlighted in dark blue.
  4. The window on the right will also pop-up giving you the option to view online or download the PDF

Note: To view documents, please use the "View Online" button. To download a PDF, please follow these instructions. Printing is not possible, even from a downloaded PDF file.

For help on how to access standards look under Support: University/College User Guide.

Search comments by the supervisory bodies

 International labour standards are backed by a supervisory system that helps to ensure that countries implement conventions that they ratify. The ILO regularly examines the application of standards in member States. To search comments by the supervisory bodies: 

  1. Open Search comments by the supervisory bodies in NORMLEX >
  2. Browse comments by >
  4. Select Find.




NFPA Codes Online.  Provides NFPA (US National Fire Protection Association) codes and standards online.

OHS Act & Regulation

"The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation contains legal requirements that must be met by all workplaces under the inspection jurisdiction of WorkSafeBC. Many sections of the Regulation have associated guidelines and policies." From WorkSafeBC 

Court Cases

CanLII (Canadian Legal Information Institute) 
Indexes Canadian laws, cases, judgments, and commentary in a way that is much more navigable than court websites. When reading a judgment, you can click a link to a cited case, for example.