Occupational Health and Safety
The Bigger Picture
Word Count: 1519
I am writing this report to help company XYZ understand the “bigger picture” of occupational health and safety legislation and help them understand its better business working safely and injury free than having workers injured and off work coasting the company money due to down time and fines. I will discuss briefly on how the law works and your best defense if you are found guilty. I will also talk about the concerns the inspector had and how we can correct them. But the main reason I am writing this report is so the workers can work safely and go home at the end of the day injury free.
With health and safety law we are mainly concerned with legislation from civil law, but you can be charged under the criminal code Bill C-45 which is a federal legislation that gives serious penalties for violations that result in injuries or death. The three main functions of the legislation for occupational health and safety are: prevention of unsafe working conditions, regulation and enforcement of the workplace health and safety and finally the compensation for the workers who get a work related injury or illness. The best defenses against being charged is following the legislations set out and keep your workers and work place safe of hazards. But even if you follow all the rules and try to control all the hazards sometimes you may just have an incident. When you have an incident your best defense will be to show you took all the reasonable steps to prevent the incident and you have proper documentation to prove you took all the proper steps. This type of defense is called “classic due diligence” and is the most used defense. Now that you understand the importance to have a safe workplace and how the law works here are the main findings we need to fix so we don’t end up hurting a worker or causing damages to equipment: Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System
Transportation of Dangerous Goods
The Nuclear Safety and Control Act
The Pest Control Products Act
Environmental Laws and Hazardous waste disposal
Human Rights and Privacy Laws
The first issue we are going to look at is how you handle and store your hazardous materials like your bulk wood glues, varnishes, paints, solvents and fuels. Because we have these controlled products in our work place we must implement a system of communication called Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS). This is law and just plain smart to protect our workers. The WHMIS system gives the worker information on the exact identity of the hazardous material they are working with, how it might affect their health, the way to protect them against the material, what to do in case of an emergency involving the substance and what first aid measures needed if in contact with it. For WHMIS to work you need to educate and train your workers to the WHMIS system, you need to label all the controlled products used in your workplace and provide the workers with material safety data sheets on those controlled products. The controlled products that we have in our plant are defined from the Controlled Products Regulation and WHMIS is regulated and enforced by our provincial or territorial occupational health and safety regulators. Now that we have the communication part down we now need to look at the transport side. Even though we don’t transport hazardous materials our workers receive, verify shipments and accuracy of the documentation. Under the TDG Regulations our workers need training and carry a valid certificate that shows they understand their training. Like WHMIS TDG is developed by federal and adopted by each jurisdiction. The administrating agency for TDG is Transport Canada. The differences between WHMIS and TDG are how the products are classified. TDG products are classified as Dangerous goods and WHMIS products are classified...
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