Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine (January 2015)
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) As highlighted safety issues that it says posed the greatest wrist Canada’s marine, rail and air transportation sectors.
On November 26, 2014, the TSB released its updated watchlist for 2014, which includes the multimodal issue of safety management, Transport Canada (TC) oversight in the following safety issues: loss of life on fishing vessels; onboard video and voice recorders; railway-crossing safety; transportation of flammable fluids by rail; approach and landing accidents; and risk of collisions on runways.
In addition, the TSB had identified in recent investigations – including one into the Lac-Megantic derailment – problems with TC oversight, a failure to identify companies’ ineffective processes and an imbalance between auditing processes versus traditional inspections.
Kathy Fox, the TSB’s chair, says a safety management system (SMS) on its own is not enough, which is why the TSB is calling on TC to oversee all SMS and processes regularly to ensure that they are effective. The Board is also calling on TC to ensure that flammable liquids are safely transported by rail by requiring railway companies to classify these products properly, shipped them in containers of the safest design and conduct routine risk assessments.
I have always found the federal version of health and safety to be behind that of most provincial governments, including the province of Alberta. Think of it, Bill C-45, which is now section 217.1 of the Canadian Criminal Code, only came into being in 2004 and has only been used by provincial governments a few times.
I am certainly glad that our Canadian government has taken health and safety in the workplace seriously. Hazard assessments are going to go a long way to improving workplace safety but only if the Canadian government takes the assessments seriously.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.