When we mention workplace safety people often roll their eyes. They think, “well it’s just common sense. Or hey I’m safe, that is an easy job.”
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The Occupational Health and Safety Act outlines the requirements for workplace safety and prevention services. It is down to the employers to design and implement a system of workplace safety and prevention that ensures they take all reasonable precautions to ensure the health and safety of workers.
There are several technical and administrative health and safety areas and functions.
- Training and Communication – Employees must be trained in health and safety policies and procedures. From “early safety returning to work” policies to “lock out and tag out” procedures. All training must be documented. These workplace safety and prevention services and be carried out by trained internal staff of outsourced to workplace safety and prevention professionals.
- Monitoring- Daily safety checks and periodic machinery inspections are required to be carried out in a specified way and documented. Action items are to be followed up on and documented. Dally safety checks are performed by trained operators and workplace health and safety professionals.
- Disciplined- Workers/Supervisors must be disciplined if they were in violations of their legal duties of corporate OHS policies or procedures. This must all be documented.
There are workplace safety and prevention systems in Ontario where fully insured and licensed Professional Engineer specialist need to be involved. Identification of all actual and potential occupational hazards on machinery requires a Facility Audit to be conducted by licensed and insured Ontario Professional Engineer(s). As part of this Facility Audit an assessment of the exposure of workers to hazards is identified through a formal Hazard Analysis. The next step is the elimination of hazards and /or the development of engineered safety controls to prevent access to hazardous motions. This part of workplace and prevention requires engineering consultation as well as formal design drawings signed and sealed by fully insured Ontario Professional Engineers.
These administrative and engineering functions need to work together, such that the company can demonstrate that it has taken all steps reasonable to protect works under their employ.