Commissioner's Directive

Occupational Safety and Health and Return to Work Programs


  1. To promote the establishment and the maintenance of safe and healthy work conditions for employees in order to prevent or reduce the incidence of occupational injuries and illnesses.
  2. To provide employees of the Correctional Service of Canada who incur an injury or illness the support and assistance to return to fully productive employment, as soon as medically feasible, through the Return to Work Program.


  1. Canada Labour Code, Part II;

    Canada Occupational Safety and Health Regulations;

    Government Employees Compensation Act;

    Canadian Human Rights Act;

    Provincial Workers' Compensation Board Legislation;

    Treasury Board Policy on Occupational Safety and Health;

    Treasury Board Policy on the Provision of Accommodation for Employees with Disabilities.


  1. The CSC is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for its employees, acting promptly and supportively in the rehabilitation of employees who experience injuries or disabling conditions, and facilitating the early reintegration of employees to productive and meaningful employment.
  2. This directive supports Core Value 3 of the Mission by affirming our belief that our strength and our major resource in achieving our objectives is our staff, and by strengthening employment equity for those who might lose employment by virtue of disability. This directive also helps to promote sensitivity to staff member's individual needs and capacities.


  1. The CSC is responsible to ensure the protection of every person it employs as it relates to his or her health and safety at work. The concept of due diligence must be applied in taking every reasonable precaution in the circumstances to avoid injury or loss.
  2. CSC Executive Committee shall ensure full compliance with the requirements of Treasury Board policies as well as Part II of the Canada Labour Code, the Canada Occupational Safety and Health Regulations and the application of this Commissioner's Directive.
  3. Regional Deputy Commissioners shall ensure that resources are in place to manage the Occupational Safety and Health and Return to Work Programs.
  4. Senior managers in all CSC facilities shall ensure that the following documents are posted at a place or places accessible to all employees:
    1. this Commissioner's Directive;
    2. Part II of the Canada Labour Code;
    3. any printed notices or other material as prescribed by Human Resources Development Canada (Labour Program) or Treasury Board Secretariat.
  5. CSC Managers shall work cooperatively with officials from Human Resources Development Canada (Labour Program) and Health Canada in order to meet compliance requirements and/or other safety and health objectives.


  1. Employees have the following rights under Part II of the Canada Labour Code:
    1. the right to be informed about known or foreseeable hazards in the workplace and be provided with the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to protect their safety and health (in respect to privacy issues);
    2. the right and responsibility to participate in identifying and correcting job-related safety and health problems as safety and health representatives or committee members;
    3. the right to refuse dangerous work if the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the use or operation of a machine or thing constitutes a danger to him/her or to another employee, or a condition exists in the place that constitutes a danger to the employee, or the performance of the activity by the employee constitutes a danger to him/her or to another employee. The employee must follow the proper procedure to be protected by the Code in invoking a refusal to work.
  2. CSC managers through the Return to Work Program shall provide assistance to employees who incur an injury or illness (work or non-work related) in order to facilitate their return to fully productive employment (commensurate with the degree of impairment) as soon as medically feasible:
    1. ensuring timely presentation of cases to the appropriate carrier (e.g. provincial Workers' Compensation Board, SunLife or National Life);
    2. assuring consistent monitoring of services with safe (for the worker and co-workers) and timely return to work as the primary objective;
    3. educating employees, their representatives and management concerning the Occupational Safety and Health and Return to Work Programs; and
    4. maintaining the productive capacity of affected CSC employees through supporting their physical, social and psychological rehabilitation following an injury or onset of an illness.


  1. When an employee dies or suffers a serious bodily injury in the workplace, the CSC shall investigate the matter in accordance with Part XV of the Canada Occupational Safety and Health Regulations. A copy of the investigation report must be forwarded to the Commissioner or his/her delegate.
  2. Other incidents will be investigated in accordance with this policy.


  1. The implementation of this directive is set out in the Guidelines on Occupational Safety and Health and Return to Work Programs.


Original signed by:

Lucie McClung

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.