(PSR) Pre-start Health and Safety Reviews

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Understanding Pre-start Safety Reviews (PSR) in Ontario, Canada

What is a PSR?

A Pre-start Safety Review (PSR), or Pre-start Health and Safety Review (PHSR), is a mandatory assessment required by Ontario’s Regulation for Industrial Establishments (O. Reg. 851), specifically under Section 7, Clause 45 (b). Conducted by a certified engineer, a PSR ensures that machinery, racking systems, and other equipment meet safety standards before being put into use. The process culminates in a stamped report verifying the safety of the systems, with recommendations for addressing any identified risks.

When is a PSR Needed?

  • Lost Manufacturer Documentation: When the original load capacity and safe operation documentation is missing.
  • Modifications or Reconfigurations: Any changes to the rack’s structure necessitate a PSR.
  • Damage: If any part of the rack sustains damage.
  • Repairs: Following any repairs to the rack system.
  • Previous Modifications: If there have been modifications since the last PSR report.

What Does a PSR Include?

  • Design Codes and Specifications: Details the standards used to evaluate the rack’s condition.
  • Non-compliance Areas: Identifies where the rack does not meet safety recommendations.
  • Inspector Credentials: Includes signatures from the inspector, engineer, and customer, along with the inspection date and report details.

Who Can Execute a PSR?

  • Existing Documentation Cases: Individuals with professional knowledge in rack safety can issue a PSR, provided an engineer’s signature is obtained.
  • Determining Load Capacity: Only a Professional Engineer is qualified to assess and report on the system’s load capacity.

What a PSR is Not?

  • Follow-up Actions: The PSR does not cover the correction of identified deficiencies or verify operational compliance post-review.
  • Ongoing Maintenance: Maintenance activities fall outside the PSR’s scope, emphasizing the need for regular safety practices beyond the initial review.


In Ontario, a Pre-start Safety Review (PSR) is a critical step in ensuring the safety and compliance of industrial racking systems and equipment. Required by law, the PSR process involves a thorough assessment by a certified engineer to certify that all systems are safe for use. It’s essential for businesses to understand when a PSR is needed, what it includes, who can perform it, and its limitations to maintain a safe working environment and comply with provincial regulations.


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