Pre-start Health and Safety Reviews (PSR) are designed to ensure machine safety compliance standards for Ontario businesses. While there are specific instances under which a Pre-start Health and Safety Review are required, many companies have begun performing internal audits of their manufacturing lines and other major equipment in order to reduce insurance costs, risk, and to ensure their employee’s safety.
Understanding the Pre-Start Health and Safety Review/Audit at Workplaces
Generally speaking, a workplace health and safety audits involve a review of a drawings, or processes employed by your company. Afterward, the company would be issued a written report detailing which (if any) measures need to be taken to bring the machine or process into compliance with OSH standards. The workplace safety audit report also contains a risk analysis defined by CSA Standards. Recommendations often include minimum design parameters, schematic revisions, or guarding modifications.
It should be noted that this review is designed to ensure that companies abide by a minimum set of standards. Generally speaking, there are more comprehensive reviews available that evaluate broader categories of risk, can reduce your company’s insurance premiums, and likewise reduce the risk of accidents in the workplace. Much of this, however, will fall outside the scope of PSR Safety, as that is limited only to onsite machines and processes and compliance with a minimum set of standards defined by the Ministry of Labour.
When is a Pre-start Health and Safety Review Required?
There are a number of specific conditions that require you to audit employee safety or perform a PSR by regulation. These include:
- If a room, building, or area is used to store or dispense flammable liquid.
- When certain protective elements are used including: light curtains, area scanning systems, safety mat systems, and interlocked gates
- Racking / stacking structures being used to store material.
- A dust collector is that involves the risk of ignition or explosion
- A factory that produces aluminum or steel or is a foundry.
- When a lifting device such as a hoist or crane has been recently installed or modified.
- If a process either uses or produces a chemical or substance that can cause workplace injury in the event of overexposure.
Understanding Your Obligations vs. Mitigating Your Risks
While these regulations can seem overly burdensome, most of them are common sense. The Ministry of Labour has a vested interest in protecting Canadians, but so too do companies have a vested interest in protecting their employees. Worksite accidents can be vastly reduced by making sure that a PSR has been conducted and issues that were identified in the reports have been eliminated.
If your company is interested in determining the benefits of a safety audit or your level of compliance with current PSR standards or having a full audit done to evaluate potential workplace hazards, feel free to contact SAFE Engineering, and we’ll ensure a safer and more productive workplace for you and your employees.