It may be likely that few employers set out to build a workplace that puts their workers and customers at risks of getting injured or becoming ill. However, these types of workplace environments unfortunately exist throughout Canada and other countries.
Signs that a workplace needs to improve its health and safety management system include an increase in the numbers of employee falls, employees or customers becoming ill after handling certain chemicals and property getting damaged due to parts of a company building or roadway breaking.
Because employers have several options when it comes to establishing a health and safety management system, it’s a good idea to take the time to study different health and safety management system features available on the market.
For example, some systems come with software that employers can use to build customized workplace safety programs. Other systems are built with auditing tools like Enform COR Audit, British Columbia Municipal Safety Association (BCMS) Audit or Workwell Readiness Assessment Audit software.
Online training, mobile emergency notification tools and mobile safety inspection tools that make it easy for supervisors to alert management to safety issues 24/7 are other health and safety management system options employers could test before they purchase or lease a safety system for their organizations.
Regardless of the system employers use, they are encouraged to ensure that the systems comply with regulations and guidelines set forth by local governments as well as the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Occupational Health and Safety and Compliance.
Regardless of the industry their businesses operate in, this step could save employers money, helping them avoid expensive fines and penalties. For example, the February 16, 2013 Reuters ” Ottawa to Set Fines for Pipeline Infractions” article states that, “Canadian regulators are getting the power to fine companies and individuals who contravene pipeline and nuclear safety rules.”
The article continues, “Under the proposed regulations, the National Energy Board and Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission will be able to fine individuals up to C$25,000 ($25,000) and corporations C$100,000 for each day they are out of compliance.” Unfortunately, it’s these types of fines and penalties that help to grab the attention of some employers.
These and other penalties help ensure that workers, customers and the general public are kept safe. The right health and safety management system could take the guesswork out of workplace safety practices and procedures, keeping employers compliant with regulations.
However, even the best health and safety management system may need to be regularly updated. That’s a reason why employers may find it advantageous to build or lease an existing system that installs automatic updates. Another way that employers could ensure their health and safety management system stays current is to designate one or more employees to test and review the system. For example, emergency evacuation systems can be tested once a quarter during evacuation drills.
Employers can also sign these designated employees up to receive in-person or online safety training. As a tip, safety and training programs that are approved by organizations like the Alberta Association for Safety Partnerships (AASP) and the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) may prove to be more robust than programs that haven’t been approved by professional organizations or government agencies.
- http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/home.shtml (Service Canada)
- http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/labour/health_safety/publications/compliance.shtml (Human Resources and Skills Development Canada: Occupational Health and Safety and Compliance)
- http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/16/us-energy-fines-idUSBRE91E17M20130216?feedType=RSSfeedName=environmentNewsutm_source=feedburnerutm_medium=feedutm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2Fenvironment+%28News+%2F+US+%2F+Environment%29 (Reuters: Ottawa to Set Fines for Pipeline Infractions)
- http://www.workbc.ca/Workplace-Resources/Recruitment-Retention/Pages/Temporary-Foreign-Worker-Program.aspx (Work BC: Temporary Foreign Worker Program)
- http://www.benefitscanada.com/benefits/disability-management/dealing-with-employee-addictions-36378 (Benefits Canada: Dealing with Employee Addiction)