Chapter 8 Creating a Safe and Healthy Work Environment

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Chapter 8 Creating a Safe and Healthy Work Environment

Healthy and Safety: The Law
* Canada- approx. more than 16 billion days lost per year to accidents and injuries costing over $10 billion to economy * Occupational health and safety is regulated by federal, provincial and territorial gov’ts. * Health and safety legislation has decreased workplace accidents

Occupational injury - Any cut, fracture, sprain, or amputation resulting from a workplace accident. * Injuries to back occur most frequently

Occupational illness- Abnormal condition or disorder resulting from exposure to environmental factors in the workplace

Acts and Regulations
* Occupational Health and Safety legislation differs w/ jurisdiction to govern the duties and responsibilities of the gov’t, employers and employees. * Ontario legislation is covered in the Occupational Health and Safety Act/ Workplace Safety and Insurance Act * Administered by WSIB (Ontario).

Duties and responsibities as required by OHS laws
* Employer:
* Fundamental duty of every employer to take every reasonable precaution to ensure employee safety and provide a hazard free workplace * Comply w/ laws and regulations
* Inform employees (supervisors) about safety and health requirements * If required appoint safety officer or form Joint Health & safety committee * Keep records
* Compile annual summary of work-related injuries/illnesses * Ensure supervisors are familiar w/ work and assoc. hazards * Report accident to WCB
* Provide safety training

* Workers:
* Required to comply w/ all acts and regulations
* Must report hazardous conditions or defective equipment * Must follow all employer’s H&S rules/regulations * Right to refuse unsafe work without fear of reprisal but must immediate report concern to supervisor to trigger work-refusal investigation )that may (continued refusal to work be sent to appropriate ministry for further investigation and to provide a written decision.

* Supervisors (key in large org. link from employer to employee and held accountable for employee understanding/behaviour) * Must advise employees of potential workplace hazards * Ensure workers use/wear safety equipment/clothing/devices * Provide written instruction where applicable

* Reinforce training and verify employees understanding * Encourage employees to take initiative in maintaining a concern for safety * Take every reasonable precaution to guarantee safety of workers.

* Joint Heath and Safety Committees (when required by law-Ontario) * Advise employer of H & S matters
* Create nonadversarial climate to create s & h work environment * Investigate accidents
* Train other in safety obligations

Penalties for Employer Noncompliance
* Vary across provinces/territories
* Ontario HS act fine up to $500,000 and offenders can be jailed * Westray Mine disaster 1992 resulted in changing the Criminal Code to make it easier to bring criminal charges againsts offenders when a worker is killed on the job.

Worker’s Compensation
* While number of Canadians injured at work every year is decreasing, upto 1 million ppl still get injured costing $5.5 billion in clams. * Workers can now get compensation for industrial disease- resulting from exposure relating to a particular process, trade, or occupation in industry in which cause/effect are difficult to determine. * Injured workers or workers who become ill bc of work can receive benefits in the form of: * cash payouts( if disability is permanent) or

* wage-loss payments (if worker can no longer earn the same amt of money) * unlimited medical aid
* vocational rehab
* some orgs may insure for a return-to-work program that rewards employers who accommodate injured worker to...
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