Due DiligenceHealth and Safety ActMinistry of Labour

Owners, Directors & Managers – Do You Know Your Legal Obligations under the OH&S Act?

By August 20, 2019 No Comments

“It takes leadership to improve safety.” – Jackie Stewart

 After over 23 years in the business, we’ve seen a lot, but we’re still amazed at the companies and individuals we come across all the time that are surprised at their responsibilities under the Occupational Health & Safety Act (OH&S Act), their response is always “I had no idea”.

This usually takes place during one of our training or consulting sessions with them. Their jaws drop as they realize that as owners, directors, managers and supervisors, they are legally responsible for the workers they manage. And for the workers attending, they realize that they are not powerless to stop hazardous or unsafe work practices.

The problem is that with some companies that are still living in past, having a worker approach an owner, manager or supervisor and state a safety concern is usually a death sentence for them with that particular company, and workers need their jobs to feed their families, so they trudge on.

The realization can also take place once they have a MOL inspector in their facility, going through their entire health & safety system, which they will proceed to do once they enter.

More and more we hear of these people in authority that are being fined and even serving jail time for accidents that happen in their workplace.

I’m not going to list them all here, but if you want to read more you can click here.

You would think the possibility of a large fine or jail time would be a significant deterrent , but the sad fact is that we continue to hear about accidents and fatalities in the workplace that are very preventable. I’m not saying that every accident is preventable, but the vast majority are.

Some companies go above and beyond their responsibilities under the OH&S Act, some are content with doing the bare minimum and there are those that turn a blind eye to health & safety of their workers in their workplace.

What these companies don’t realize is that by investing in health & safety at their workplace for their workers, they will actually be putting more profits directly in their pockets.

The cost of an accident has immediate direct costs, but what you don’t realize is the indirect costs that come with it; higher WSIB premiums, lost production, retraining and more.

It’s been shown that by investing in your workers well-being, they will feel more appreciated and that will result in increased production, higher moral, which means increased profits.

If it’s so simple, why do so many companies turn a blind eye to their safety requirements? For most it’s called being short sighted, as they only see the money they have to spend that day in order to meet the regulations and laws under the OH&S Act, rather than looking at it as an investment in their work force.

In our experience, the majority of companies out there simply do not know their legal obligations and they don’t know where to find them.

The OH&S Act, the green book, is over 800 pages with thousands of sections and subsections, so yes, it’s not easy to find the relevant information, but it’s not impossible either.

One of the easiest ways to determine what your H&S requirements are, is to have a trained safety professional come to your facility and perform a safety audit of your entire H&S system, policies, programs, completed and required training and more.

Most safety training providers like to charge an hourly rate for this safety audit, but here at BULLIVANT Health + Safety, we offer a no cost Safety Strategy Session. By the end of the session you’ll have a clear idea on where your current H&S system is, and also a clear roadmap to bring you up where you need to be compliant under the OH&S Act.

If you’d like to schedule you Safety Strategy Session, just contact us today and we can coordinate a date and time that works for you.

 

 

 

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