Workplace safety refers to the measures, protocols, and practices to ensure the physical well-being and security of individuals working at a particular location. It encompasses a range of factors and considerations to prevent accidents, injuries, and potential hazards in the workplace.

Occupational Health and Safety

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety provides legislation, training, and program information for employers and workers. Provincial and territorial governments also provide resources and guidelines for employers and workers in their respective areas.

Understanding workplace health and safety is crucial to maintaining a safe workplace.

The following items contribute to workplace safety:

Risk Assessment

Conducting a thorough risk assessment helps identify potential hazards and risks in the workplace. This evaluation involves examining the tasks being performed, equipment used, environmental factors, and any potential human error.

Safety Policies

Establishing clear and comprehensive safety policies and procedures is crucial for creating a safe work environment. These guidelines should cover various aspects such as emergency procedures, proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), safe equipment and materials handling, and reporting incidents and near-misses.

Training and Education

Providing adequate training and education to employees is vital in ensuring their understanding of safety protocols. This training includes properly operating equipment, using PPE, responding to emergencies, and recognizing potential hazards. Offer regular refresher courses and updates about safety regulations and best practices.

Hazard Control

Implementing measures to control and minimize hazards is essential to any workplace. This planning can involve installing safety guards on machinery, ventilation systems or non-slip flooring, implementing work schedules and rotating tasks to minimize repetitive strain injuries, and ensuring proper maintenance and inspection of equipment.

Emergency Preparedness

Developing emergency response plans and conducting drills is essential in preparing for unforeseen situations. This planning includes having clear evacuation routes, designated assembly areas, trained first responders, and communication systems to alert all personnel in an emergency.

Reporting and Investigation

Encouraging a culture of reporting and investigation is important for identifying and addressing potential safety issues. Your employees should feel comfortable reporting incidents, near-misses, or unsafe conditions without fear of reprisal. These reports should be thoroughly investigated to determine the root cause and implement corrective actions.

Safety Culture

Promoting a positive safety culture is important in ensuring continuous improvement in workplace safety. Safety in the workplace should be prioritized and encouraged at all levels of the organization. Recognizing and rewarding safe behaviours, providing open channels of communication for safety concerns, and involving employees in decision-making processes related to safety can help create a strong safety culture.

All employers and apprentices must follow workplace safety regulations to ensure their workplaces are safe. The required minimum safety details are based on the size of your company and the type of industry.

How to Improve Safety in your Workplace

  • Conduct regular employee safety training sessions, including proper equipment handling, identifying hazards, and emergency protocols.
  • Conduct random workplace inspections to identify what needs to be addressed at future safety meetings.
  • Implement a comprehensive reporting system encouraging open communication and ensuring employees feel comfortable reporting unsafe conditions.
  • Ensure safety labels and signage are up to date on all equipment and clearly indicate hazardous areas.
  • Check the personal protective equipment for your new apprentices.

As an employer, leading by example regarding workplace health and safety is important. Your dedication to ensuring a safe workplace sets the tone for your employees, fostering a safety culture that safeguards lives and enhances productivity. To ensure you are always updated on the changing regulations, download a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety: Employer and Employee Duties

What Your Apprentices Should Know

The first day on the job can be overwhelming for a new hire. The onboarding process can be a great way to ensure new apprentices feel safe and part of the team. The federal government offers resources for businesses to help make the process as smooth as possible. Click the links to access these important resources.

Violence and Harassment in the Workplace

Violence and harassment are forms of aggressive or threatening behaviour. In the workplace, they can have negative consequences for both workers and the organization. Canadian businesses are required to take all possible precautions to prevent them.

Additional Resources to make your workplace safer:

Violence and harassment – Most people think of workplace violence and bullying as acts of physical assault. However, it is a much broader problem, consisting of any act in which a person is abused, threatened, intimidated, assaulted, degraded, or humiliated in his or her employment.

Job Safety Checklist App – This safety management website allows you to build custom forms that are simple to fill out and sign with follow-up actions, worker certifications, GPS locations, and offline support.

WHMIS – Keep up to date about changes to the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System.

Workplace Inspections – A Government of Canada site that outlines workplace inspection compliance. Workplace inspections provide definitions and legal requirements of work safety inspections and a sample inspection checklist.

Risk Assessments – Identifying the what, why’s, when’s and how’s of a risk assessment.

Workplace Health and Safety Committees – Another Canadian government site that presents information on Workplace Health and Safety Committees. Health and safety committees and representatives are vital in preventing work-related injuries and diseases and are an important part of the internal responsibility system.

Health and Safety Program – Information about health and safety policies and how in implement them into your business.

Safety Wear for Women – is an online distributor of protective products, safety apparel, and accessories. They offer safety wear for Women that is sized correctly for women in the workplace.

Worksite Safety – Ordering Green Book – This handy and portable book is suitable for carrying with you or posting on bulletin boards. It can help employers meet their obligation to post a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) in the workplace.