How to Get Started With a PHSR Program

One of the best ways to enhance workplace health and safety is to have an assessment done of the work environment. More specifically, Ontario business owners need to take advantage of a pre-start health and safety review, also referred to as a PHSR.

What Is a PHSR?

Ontario businesses need to have a pre-startup safety review to stay compliant with current industrial regulations. In other words, a PHSR is mandated according to Section 7 of the Industrial Establishments Regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

For starters, only a professional engineer can perform a pre-start health and safety review.
However, it’s up to business owners to implement the recommendations made in the report. That means employers must ensure full compliance with Occupational Health and Safe Act and Regulations in the workplace.

The bottom line is a pre-startup safety review helps protect workers before they operate any structure, apparatus, or protective process or element within the workplace. Although an engineer provides recommendations, it is the responsibility of the business owner to implement them. That protects workers and keeps companies compliant with Regulation 851.

Keep in mind that a PHSR doesn’t replace OSHA’s references and regulations. Rather, PHSR ensures that businesses have proper protective systems in place to prevent injuries. That includes protection in the event of operator error.

Requirements for a Pre-Start Health and Safety Review

Companies hire qualified engineers for a pre-start up safety review whenever they bring new equipment into the workplace or have existing equipment modified. The goal is to ensure 100 percent compliance with industry standards. The same applies to new and existing processes and structures.

Below are the main points to know about a PHSR:

  • To achieve full compliance, businesses must adhere to all requirements outlined under the Industrial Establishments Regulation. Sometimes, exemptions apply for a pre-start health and safety review according to Section 7.
  • You can find the exact provisions of when a review does and doesn’t apply by reading Section 7 of the Industrial Establishments Regulation. Keep in mind that you can always broaden the scope of a PHSR to cover additional requirements.
  • A pre-startup safety review offers many benefits. Most importantly, it prevents workers from becoming ill or sustaining injuries. It also minimizes the need to retrofit, lowers the risk of downtime, and reduces the need to purchase replacement equipment. So, along with protecting employees, a PHSR yields direct savings.
  • No guidelines exist about how to carry out a pre-start health and safety review. That means you can use a reporting format for an existing review system or rely on the one generated by the engineer. Regardless, the report must address everything reviewed in line with the Industrial Establishments Regulation.
  • For a professional engineer to qualify to do a PHSR, they must satisfy the requirements in subsections 7(11) and (12) found in the Industrial Establishments Regulation.
  • A pre-startup safety review includes a written report that details areas of safety and health concerns, as well as those deemed non-compliant. There is more about this in subsection 7(4).

Hiring the Right Company for a PHSR

S.A.F.E. Engineering specializes in this type of review. To provide your workers with a healthy and safe work environment while remaining compliant, contact us today. We’ll gladly answer any questions you have about our services related to pre-start health and safety review.

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