When It Comes To Work Safety, Who Does It Better – USA or Canada?

November 17, 2016 No Comments

Who Does Work Safety The Best – USA or Canada?

I have worked in the occupational safety and health field for over 40 years.   I worked in the USA for most of that time, although I did work extensively throughout Canada from 2000 – 2007.  For about five years, I worked for the OSHA 7(C1) program in South Dakota.  I spent months at the OSHA Training Institute in Des Plaines, Illinois learning the OSHA safety and health standards and their interpretations.

I am sometimes asked “which country has the better safety and health standards – the United States of America or Canada?”.  That’s a difficult question to answer.  Below is a brief overview comparing these two countries safety and health standards.

USA OSHA Law & Regulations

The USA OSHA regulations that are better than their Canadian counterparts are:  

  • Air Contaminants
  • Grain Handling Facilities
  • Welding
  • Respiratory Protection
  • Toxic & Hazardous Substances
  • Powered Industrial Trucks (i.e. forktrucks)

Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations

The Canadian regulations that are better than their USA counterparts include:  

  • Levels Of Sound/Occupational Noise Exposure
  • Emergency Planning
  • First Aid
  • Skin Protection
  • Boilers & Pressure Vessels
  • Sanitation


I expect that most of my USA website visitors will be shocked to learn that Canada has the following health and safety regulations that the USA does not even have:  

  • Vibration
  • Illumination / Lighting
  • Violence Prevention
  • Accident Investigation
  • Hazard Prevention Program (in the USA we call this “Injury and Illness Prevention Program” or IIPP)


Overall, I’d have to say that the Canadian standards are significantly better, more protective, and more up-to-date than the USA OSHA regulations are!  However, if someone could combine the two countries safety and health standards into one comprehensive standard, this hybrid regulation would be terrific and would cover all the necessary bases (except for transportation safety and ergonomics).

Which ever country you are in, please realize that your country’s occupational safety and health regulations are not comprehensive.  When dealing with “critical” workplace hazards, check other countries occupational safety and health regulations.  Don’t just settle for compliance, go beyond simple compliance and give your employees the safe guards and protections that they deserve!

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