Archived [2020-04-01] - Directives and Standards - General - Occupational Health and Safety

Explains what qualifies as an occupational health and safety directive and standard.
Date modified: 1993-06-30

This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Print-friendly XML


Public Service work operations and activities must be guided by standards designed to provide for acceptable conditions of occupational and environmental safety and health. Therefore, in keeping with its responsibilities under the Financial Administration Act, the Treasury Board has developed or adapted a range of standards governing the occupational safety and health of persons employed in the Public Service.


A standard is a document outlining specific or minimum working conditions to be fulfilled, and its development is the result of a particular consensus or standardization effort.

If the standard has been consulted upon within the National Joint Council and forms part of collective agreements, it holds the title of "directive".


Standards are designed to provide measures which are considered necessary or appropriate for the prevention of accidents and injuries, and also for protection against exposure to unhealthy environmental or occupational factors. Standards are developed with the intention of protecting personnel from the hazards of their employment, and are conceived so as to exercise the minimum restriction or interference with operations or levels of service.


Public Service occupational safety and health standards apply to all departments and agencies, as defined in Part I of Schedule I of the Public Service Staff Relations Act. The requirements of these standards, as well as specific directives or procedures issued pursuant to such standards, are mandatory. Where another code or standard is referred to in a Public Service standard, it is the responsibility of each department and agency to apply the most recent edition of such code or standard.


All directives have been consulted upon within the National Joint Council (NJC) and are subject to ongoing consultation and concurrence whenever changes are proposed. Directives which have been signed-off within NJC now form part of each Public Service collective agreement and are subject to a six-year cyclical review process.


The Treasury Board, supported by the inspection, technical and advisory services of Labour Canada, and by the survey, investigation and consultative services of Health and Welfare Canada, will monitor the application of occupational safety and health standards in the Public Service.


This chapter replaces chapter 3 of PMM volume 12.


Enquiries about directives and standards should be referred to the responsible officers in departmental headquarters who, in turn, may direct questions regarding their interpretation to the following:

  • Safety, Health and Employee Services Group
  • Staff Relations Division
  • Human Resources Policy Branch
  • Treasury Board Secretariat

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the President of the Treasury Board, 2017,
ISBN: 978-0-660-09718-3

Date modified: