A good place to start when considering what your company needs as far as a safety program is concerned is to look at what your local laws require. Here in Alberta, there are a number of safety requirements noted within Alberta’s Occupational Act, Regulation and Code. Among them are:
- Worker’s Right to Know, including access to OHS legislation, WHMIS, practices, procedures, availability of specifications to workers, and adequate training (Act and Regulation)
- Worker’s Right to Participate in the safety process (Code)
- Worker’s “Right” to Refuse unsafe work (Act)
- Report all serious incidents to OHS officers (ie. injury requiring hospital stay of more than 48 hours; fatality; unplanned fire or flood; collapse of crane; collapse of structure) (Act)
- Orders or notices must be posted where workers can see them until the order or notice is satisfied; Acceptances must be posted or shared (Reg)
- Written hazard assessment of the work site prior to work beginning, at reasonable intervals afterwards, when a new work process is introduced, when operations change, and before the construction of significant additions or alterations to a work site (Code)
- Practices and procedures must be written, depending on the work to be performed (Code).
- Appropriate number of first aiders and first aid equipment on site (Code)
- Appropriate number of toilet facilities on site and per gender (Code)
- Up-to-date and readily accessible MSDS for all controlled products (Code)
And this really just scratches the surface.
Once this framework is laid out, a company should be in good shape to demonstrate due diligence in dealings with Workplace Health and Safety officers. Further, it lays most of the groundwork for acquiring a Certificate of Recognition (COR) through Alberta’s Partnerships in Injury Reduction (PIR) program.
Having a COR gives a company a minimum five percent rebate on their WCB premiums—in some cases up to 20 percent, depending on the company’s historical performance. For a company that already has a good record of avoiding workplace injuries, this is easy money put back in your pocket for the simple act of protecting your most valuable asset: your people.
Flannery Safety Consulting can help you develop an effective safety program that brings you into compliance with Alberta’s OHS legislation. We can also guide you through the process of achieving a COR. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 403-715-4162