Maintaining Health and Safety in the Workplace
Whether you are an employer or an employee, health and safety should be of great importance in your workplace. Thousands are injured every year in the province of Ontario alone. In fact, last year more than 150 workers lost their lives while on the job. Being able to return home from work each day, is not a privilege, but a right. There are a number of precautions that can be put into practice to ensure your workplace is a safe one.
Health and safety should be of utmost importance to all employers as the effects of downtime due to injury can be devastating to a company.
The responsibilities of the employer and employee are very different but equally important. Knowing yours is key to keeping the workplace a safe environment. There are many things an employer must do and some that are recommended in order to maintain a safe workplace. Policies and procedures include but are not limited to:
- certification in CPR and first aid
- working at heights certification
- harassment and violence policies
- first aid kits stocked
- providing safety harnesses, etc. and making sure they are being used
- maintaining a health and safety committee, ensuring that both employer and employees are represented
- facilitate regular safety meetings with all employees
- ensure all employees have their WHMIS
- display in the workplace any safety literature that is relevant
- maintain a proper reporting system in the case of an incident
Health and Safety in the workplace regulations can and will change, This is why having an active committee in place to keep informed of any changes, is so important. Without adherence to the Health and Safety code in your province, your company is at risk. Not to mention, all those that work there.
As an employee, you too have the obligation to do your part in ensuring a safe workplace. Here is a list of your responsibilities:
- Exercise your rights and duties in a responsible manner.
- Work in compliance with the Act and regulations.
- Use any equipment, protective devices or clothing required by the employer.
- Tell the employer or supervisor about any known missing or defective equipment or protective device that may be dangerous.
- Report any known workplace hazard or violation of the Act to the employer or supervisor.
- Not remove or make ineffective any protective device required by the employer or by the regulations.
If you operate a business or simply work in the province of Ontario, there are many resources available to you, to ensure a safe workplace for yourself and your employees. Visit the:Ministry of Labour