Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
Results of an inspection into late-night working conditions in Newfoundland and Labrador, released on July 02, 2013, indicated that workplaces are not doing enough to protect workers.
The provincial government launched an inspection blitz at various places of employment where workers are required to work non-traditional hours. Typically, these workplaces face a higher risk of violence on the job.
More than 200 directives have been ordered to the 132 workplaces inspected. The lack of late-night entry buzzers, appropriate locking systems or a safety plan for workers in the event of an incident were the most common safety violations, the report states.
“Ultimately, it is the responsibility of employers to keep workers safe,” Lana Payne, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour,” says in a statement. “Clearly, our recommendation would be that no worker be required to work alone. At the very least, we must put in place adequate policies, procedures, rules, training and enforcement to eliminate the risk.”
Payne says she would like to see health and safety training made mandatory for late-night staffers and more frequent inspections to ensure that employers and workers comply with the required safety training and equipment.
Section 25 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) has a long list of special responsibilities governing the safety of the workplace. I have listed the more prominent ones below;
Section 25, subsection (1) of the OHSA states,
“An employer shall ensure that,
(a) the equipment, materials and protective devices as prescribed are provided;
(b) the equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer are maintained in good condition;
(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace;
(d) the equipment, materials and protective devices provided by the employer are used as prescribed.”
Section 25, subsection 2 of the OHSA states,
“An employer shall,
(a) provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker;
(c) when appointing a supervisor, appoint a competent person;
(d) acquaint a worker or a person in authority over a worker with any hazard in the work and in the handling, storage, use, disposal and transport of any article, device, equipment or a biological, chemical or physical agent;
(e) afford assistance and co-operation to a committee and a health and safety representative in the carrying out by the committee and the health and safety representative of any of their functions;
(h) take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.”
Please recognize that the OHSA notes the need to have a competent person as a supervisor. (c) The legal definition of a “Competent Person” is listed below;
“A competent person” means a person who,
(a) is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience to organize the work and its performance,
(b) is familiar with this Act and the regulations that apply to the work, and
(c) has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace.”
The key word is TRAINING! Ensure your supervisors receive the proper training for the best protection for the workers. Yes, send the supervisor too!
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.