How to Keep Workers Safe
No one wants their workers to be hurt on the job and, as an owner or manager, you care about keeping your people safe at work.
Did you know that companies of all sizes must follow government-regulated occupational health and safety rules and that failing to follow them could result in a fine of up to $500,000 and/or up to a year in jail?1 Depending on the nature of your business and where you operate, you are subject to either federal or provincial/territorial laws to prevent injuries at work.
Here are some ways to start improving workplace safety (and prevent injuries from sidelining your employees):
- Conduct a risk assessment and identify potential dangers in the workplace. You may need to consult experts in risk prevention to help with this process.
- Develop policies and procedures specific to your industry and workplace to safeguard the health and safety of your workers.
- Review policies annually to ensure they’re up to date and remain relevant.
- Conduct regular inspections for hazards that could impact employees.
- Depending on the size of your organization, you may be required to have a health and safety committee comprised of management and workers.
- Put safety on the agenda for all meetings.
- Make sure supervisors understand their role in maintaining a safe workplace and know how to prevent workplace injuries.
- Provide training and seminars to help all employees know how to do their jobs safely.
- Offer refresher training and monitor behaviour to ensure workers follow procedures that keep them safe.
- Inform workers of new hazards and provide training on how to work safely around it.
- Provide safety equipment, check regularly that it is working, and make sure employees know how to use it properly.
- Practice emergency responses for dealing with fires, chemical spills, and other major incidents.
- Post copies of hazardous material handling guidelines, safety policies and first aid instructions as visual reminders (which will also help you comply with legal posting requirements).
- Report any incidents immediately to the federal or provincial/territorial body that oversees your industry.
Workplace injuries can be devastating so take proactive steps today to reduce your risks and keep your people safe.
How to Keep Workers Safe (PDF version)
1. Ontario Ministry of Labour, The Occupational Health and Safety Act: FAQs, 2013
The information contained in this HR Tip Sheet is summary in nature and is intended to provide general guidance. It should not be viewed as a replacement for legal or professional advice.
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