Staying Safe at Work

Workplace Safety

When it comes to knowing the workplace and what hazards exist, employees and employers have big responsibilities on a ground level. The Canadian work code outline these responsibilities and rights that all workers have.

Employee Rights

As an employee, you have a great responsibility by, in which, your every move or lack of has the potential to cause a workplace incident. No one is as responsible for your personal safety as you are yourself. However, this does come with great rights as well. All employees have the right to;

  • Work in a safe environment
  • Be supplied with the correct equipment to maintain a safe environment
  • Be trained to become proficient to carry out regular tasks safely

Further rights outlined in the code are;

THE RIGHT TO KNOW

As an employee, you are eligible for the information the government pertains in relation to the employer’s health & safety record or similar. You have the right to be informed of any known hazards or foreseeable incidents that may arise from future planned tasks.

THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE

If an organisation or company has more than 300 employees, they are obligated to have a health & safety committee so members can participate in creating a safer work environment. You have the right to carry out the means necessary to create a safer and healthy environment for yourself or others around you.

THE RIGHT TO REFUSE

If a situation arises that you as the employee feel that the situation will become unsafe and lead to an injury or potential injury, then you have the right to stop the work and seek further input. The correct method of control must be followed and this can be found in the code.

Employee Responsibilities

As the employee, you must follow all regulations and rules for your workplace and from any governing authority in the applicable industry. Some examples include;

  • Using all provided safety devices or apparatuses
  • Co-operating with anyone that is utilising and abiding by the code
  • Report any unsafe acts or potential hazards
  • Comply with all oral or written direction in the positive promotion of safe environments

Employer responsibilities

The employer is crucial to preventing workplace incidents and mitigating risks. As an employer, you must ensure that all employees have the necessary level of supervision to assist them in carrying out their tasks safely. You must also ensure that the employees have access to tools and the necessary channels of communication to speak up about hazards or concerns they have.

Information, training, and supervision

As the employer, you must ensure all employees are aware of the tasks risks and hazards. You must provide the adequate training and protection necessary to mitigate the risk.

The employer must ensure that the safety committee that was appointed is carrying out regular meeting and field checks. This will raise awareness of safety while also making it easier for the employees to speak up about concerns. This, in turn, will create a better work environment for everyone.

Employer investigations

It is the employer’s responsibility to follow up all reports from employees and effectively act as required.

Inspections

Regular inspections will help reduce hazards and risks to all the workforce. It is imperative that regular checks are carried out. If a hazard or risk is reported then the employer has 30 days in which, they must provide a written response.

Accident investigations and reporting

Employers must report any serious accident within 24hrs to the Labour Program.

Once an investigation is completed the employer has 14 days since the time of an injury to re[port the findings to the Labour Program.

Employers Annual Hazardous Occurrence Report and the Work Place Committee Report are required annually.

Both parties play an important part in safety in the workp[lace and it is up to everyone to work together to achieve a safe working environment.