Businesses have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for their employees. They have to create a workplace that follows all national CCOHS safety and health standards as well as those set forth in Alberta.
For a complete list of Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) laws and requirements, it’s best to review the OHS website regularly to make sure you’re in full compliance.
While steps like requiring gloves, masks, earplugs or other safety equipment is a practical part of many healthcare and manufacturing jobs, there is another facet to employee safety. It’s also important to create an environment that fosters employee safety by taking crime prevention measures. Consulting with an expert Edmonton security firm can provide you peace of mind. Here at CE Security, we help businesses throughout the year assess risk and take steps to improve employee safety through audits and safety measures.
What does Canada’s Labour Code Say about Employee Safety?
Employers must prevent workplace injuries and accidents and promote a healthy and safe workplace. The responsibilities fall under the Canada Labour Code and only apply to businesses under federal jurisdiction. Employers also have to make sure their employees have the supervision, information and training to properly perform their jobs in a safe environment. Supervisors, managers, and safety and health committees have to understand their roles under the Labour Code.
Supervision, information, and training
Businesses have to make sure that their employees have the supervision, information and training to perform their jobs safely. These include:
- An overall understanding of work procedures
- Information about the safety protocols for equipment and tools
- General awareness of any foreseeable hazards in the workplace
Work safety training sessions
For health and safety committees, the employer must provide the following:
- Participate in job hazard and accident investigations
- Conduct monthly inspections
- Maintain regular meetings about workplace safety
Employers must ensure that their supervisors and managers know their duties regarding a resolution to internal complaints, accident investigations, refusals to work and general reporting.
Employers are required to protect the safety and health of their employees under the Canada Labour Code. They must ensure that employee accidents, refusals to work, complaints and injuries are investigated.
Performing regular inspections is required to make sure that safety and health hazards are addressed before any injuries occur. The Canada Labour Code states that any health and safety representative must perform monthly inspections in the workplace.
If a hazard is identified, the representative isn’t allowed to remove it. Any recommendation for change or removal must be reported to the employer. The employer then has to provide a response in writing within 30 days detailing how the hazard will be resolved.
Accidents and reporting
Investigations of accidents play a critical role in preventing incidents from reoccurring in the future. Any accident that occurs that is serious in nature must be reported to the Labour Program within 24 hours.
Employers also have to submit written reports to the Labour Program for all permanent and temporary injuries in 14 days. They also must submit three annual reports to the Labour Program. These include:
- Workplace committee report
- Violence and harassment occurrence report
- Hazardous occurrence report
What Steps Can I Take to Ensure Employee Safety?
There are many steps that an employer must follow to ensure the safety of their employees. Here are the top 5:
Inspect the workplace:
To find any potentially hazardous areas the employer must inspect the facility thoroughly. If this is not done on a regular basis there’s no way for the business to know where potential hazards lie. It’s the only way to identify potential hazards and eliminate any future incidents from happening.
One of the best ways to prevent accidents is to train the staff regarding safety protocols and help them understand what to do if an accident occurs. Some companies may need first aid and fire representatives that have been trained to assist in the event of an accident. The number of specialised staff would depend on the size of the business, but having properly trained people on staff could make a difference in a crisis.
Ongoing training of health and safety personnel is crucial to keeping the team up to date on any new policies and procedures in regard to safety. Having monthly fire drills can keep the team fresh on what to do should a fire occur on the premises.
There should be a book on-site that contains a record of all accidents and incidents that have occurred. This should be updated regularly. Even if it’s something that seems small or insignificant, it should be documented. This is important because should the incident occur again there’s documentation available to show how it was initially investigated. This is also important because if an employee makes a claim there’s proper documentation to back up the claim that documents the facts of what happened.
Any incident that occurs in the workplace should be investigated thoroughly. By doing this the employer can find what may have caused the accident. Was it something the company needed to address and change, or was it a result of employee negligence? Sometimes accidents occur and no one is at fault, there was simply a failure in control somewhere.
What Are The Biggest Employee Safety Concerns In Edmonton, Canada?
Most Canadians have several concerns regarding workplace safety. These include returning to the workplace after Covid, interacting with people who aren’t vaccinated, commuting time, and people who don’t follow health safety rules. Some expressed concern about home-based employees returning to the workplace.Many wonder how this will affect the workplace culture and whether everyone will follow health safety measures.
Another one of their concerns is if they’re still working from home, who will be responsible for their safety and if any compensation is due if a home worker is injured during the course of business. There should be something in writing between the employer and the staff clarifying these issues. Home workers should benefit from health and safety measures even if they’re working off-site.
This raises several questions. Should the employer and/or safety committee have access to the home workspace for safety inspections? Will the employee simply be able to use a checklist and send pictures to security? Will employees have to immediately report an injury during the course of the day just like they would if they were on company property? How will these incidents be investigated? It can become a complicated matter.
How Can I Protect My Edmonton Business from Employee Safety Lawsuits in Canada?
The law states in the Canadian Criminal Code that anyone who has the authority to direct what another person does, whether it’s considered work or any other task, has a legal obligation to keep that person and the general public safe from accidental injury. Companies can be held accountable for any negligence pertaining to this issue.
It’s essential to create a safe and secure environment for your employees. This includes a properly lit parking lot and any other outdoor areas. CE Security can help you from overlooking any potential security issues. We can provide an audit of your space and provide safety upgrade recommendations.
Employers can limit their liability to reduce the possibility of being charged by implementing a safety program at their company.
- Companies need to provide protective equipment and training for employees.
- Make sure employees are aware of the company’s health and safety guidelines and receive information about the safety program and all workplace hazards,
- It’s the employer’s responsibility to identify and eliminate any hazards.
- Employers must understand occupational safety laws and the legal obligations surrounding them.
Safety First For Your Business In Edmonton, Alberta
CE Security and Consulting, Inc. can help you eliminate risk and protect your staff and your assets. We offer many options to assist you in your endeavour to create a safe workplace for your employees and customers. We can help improve your current safety program or help you develop a better one.
Our trained professionals are well-versed in workplace safety and compliance. We’ll help improve communication between you and your team. If you’d like to learn more about what CE Security and Consulting, Inc. can do to help your business run safely and smoothly, give us a call today at 1-855-278-4806 or visit our website.