Workplaces have evolved the past few years - staying up-to-date remains paramount
For employers, ensuring workplace safety should be front and center as more and more workers head back to the workplace.
The world has gone through a lot of changes the past few years, and how employers should ensure workplace safety may have gone through an evolution. Still, employers should aim for employees to be able to come into a secure workplace and leave the same unharmed.
To help you out, here are some ways to ensure workplace safety:
1. Be compliant with workplace safety laws
Workplaces are governed by rules. Under Part II of the Canada Labour Code, employers have a responsibility to ensure safety in the workplace. But with the changes in the world, legislation around workplace health and safety are also changing.
Manitoba, for example, recently launched a legislated five-year review of the Workplace Safety and Health Act and its three associated regulations. The review will focus on strong protections that meet the needs of modern workplaces, improving consistency and ensuring requirements are clear and reasonable.
“Reviewing our safety laws every five years ensures they remain current, comprehensive and effective in preventing occupational injuries and illnesses, particularly as the nature of work changes,” said Reg Helwer, minister of labour, consumer protection and government services.
It is, therefore, crucial for employers to stay up-to-date with legislations around workplace safety, and abide by them.
2. Develop health and safety programs together with employees
Employees should be involved in plotting workplace health and safety programs. This is crucial in creating a culture of safety in the work environment. The campaign for workplace safety does not rest solely on the shoulders of employers, Suzana Prpic, senior manager, prevention and field services, WorkSafeBC, previously told Canadian Occupational Safety (COS).
As she put it: “Measures need to be communicated to all workers and workers need to be engaged in that discussion, so that measures can be updated as required. That’s working together to reduce the risk of transmission in any workplace.”
She added: “Employers need to maintain the fundamental measures, and really engage their workers in discussions relating to communicable disease prevention.”
Having a safety committee or health and safety representatives will also be helpful.
3. Be aware and identify the hazards in the workplace
There are numerous hazards in the workplace, and some worksites may have more than others. Identifying these hazards is crucial for employers to identify ways to ensure workplace safety.
And as it is, there is a lot of data available to help in this regard. Sifting through previous incident reports, safety manuals for machines, minutes from safety meetings, and others will help employers have a clearer picture of what hazards there are in the workplace.
Source: HRD Human Resources Director Canada
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