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Human Resources
MHR 711
Danielle Lamb

1 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION OHS: the identification, evaluation, and control of hazards associated with the work environment Occupational Injury: any cut, fracture, sprain or amputation resulting from a workplace accident Lost-time injury: a workplace injury that results in the employee missing time from work Occupational Illness: any abnormal condition or disorder caused by exposure to environmental factors associated with employment Historical Development of Modern OHS  Occupational illnesses and injuries have been with us throughout history  Documented cases of work-related illnesses go back as far as Ancient Egypt, when stonemasons and potters experienced respiratory problems from breathing in debris during the building of pyramids  As societies became more technologically advanced, cases of skin diseases, vomiting and liver degeneration began to occur  With the start of the Industrial Revolution, machinists and others working in the new industries were exposed to oils used for lubrication during the cutting and removal of metal. These oils, mixed with the poor personal hygiene practices resulted in serious skin diseases, such as acne and skin melanomas. When the spinning and weaving industries were mechanized, the resultant dust from hemp and flax (breathing in dirt) caused byssinosis—Brown lung: a disease of the lungs caused by excessive inhalation of dust; affects textile workers th  In Canada, OHS concerns first arose in the late 19 century with health & safety provisions being written into law when Ontario passed legislation that established safety standards such as mandating guards on machines. Quebec then followed suit.  By the early 20 century, every jurisdiction in Canada had passed factory laws that regulated heating, lighting, ventilation, hygiene, fire safety and accident reporting. Factory inspectors were also appointed in each province/territory to enforce these standards Important Influences  Royal Commission on Relations of Capital and Labour in Canada (1889) 1. Commissioners made several recommendations about improving health and safety by establishing standards and mandating regular inspections 2. First to recommend a system for compensating victims 3. Lastly, recommend that a labour bureau be created to oversee these activities  Royal Commission on the H&S of Workers in Mines (1974): first to articulate 3 principles: 1. Right to refuse dangerous work without penalty 2. Right to participate in identifying and correcting H&S problems 3. Right to know about hazards in the workplace  WHMIS (1988)—Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System: has been established in every jurisdiction in Canada and is based on worker’s fundamental right to know 2 Changing Perspectives on Risk & Liability th  Until the early 20 century, the dominant model of dealing with hazards in the workplace was: Assumption of risk: the belief that a worker accepted the risks of employment when he or she accepted a job ex: Triangle Shirtwaist Factory  Associated with the assumption of risk doctrine was the belief that occupational injuries were caused by worker carelessness and the belief in accident-prone personalities Accident proneness: the notion that some individuals are inherently more likely than others to be involved in accidents, as a result of individual characteristics The Importance of H&S  ER’s, EE’s and the public should care about OHS for economic, legal and moral reasons Economic  There are various costs related to workplace injury and some of them are immediate and a direct result of the incident, while others are more subtle and follow a chain of events after a workplace injury Direct—directly relate to injury Indirect—costs that follow workplace injury -Worker’s lost time -Fines, legal costs -Time spent investigating incident -Work stoppages & strikes -Finding/ training of replacement worker -Negative publicity/ bad business Legal  OHS Act requires an ER to “take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker” –due diligence: an expected standard of conduct that requires ER’s to take every reasonable precaution to ensure safety Moral  ER’s have moral obligations to employees and their families to provide the safest working environment possible.  Management commitment to H&S results in higher EE motivation to work safely—studies show that perception that mgrs. and co-workers who were committed to H&S was the single biggest predictor of an EE’s willingness to participate in H&S programs  Workers have moral responsibility to learn about H&S and follow recommended practices There are considerable costs of work-related injuries/illnesses that fall on: 1. Injured workers and their families -Lost labour market earnings, shortened career, lost retirement earnings, deterioration of health status, loss of enjoyment of non-work life, possibly reduced life expectancy; medical care/assisted living costs, vocational retraining costs, etc. 2. Firms (Direct)-benefit costs: LT & ST disability benefit payments, worker’s comp. costs, medical care costs, cost of managing benefits (Indirect)-replacement workers, OT, training, lost-production, risk of injury to co-workers, supervisory time, costs of hiring/training, reduced productivity/morale (Disability Mgmt. Costs)-return-to-work programs, wellness programs, EAP’s, medical clinics, safety programs and data systems 3 3. Society as a whole -Costs to gov’t increase and revenues (taxes) to government fall, ER’s may be forced out of business; and the prices of goods and services may be higher than would be in the case in safer/healthier workplaces Stakeholders 1. Government: ON passed the Workmen’s Compensation Act (1914)—provided lost-time wages to almost every injured worker; 2 main goals: compensation and prevention; also, federal gov’t created the Canadian Centre for OHS as a vital H&S research and resource organization 2. Employers: a company’s management team is the most pivotal player in OHS, they have the resources to hire H&S professionals and are responsible for preparing a written OHS policy and ensuring its displayed within the workplace; managers also must receive adequate training 3. Employees: are required to perform tasks & duties in a safe and responsible manner and to wear protective equipment in compliance with co. regulation; they are required to report defective equipment & other hazards; they also have the right to refuse unsafe work 4. Organized Labour: responsible to bring emerging problems and issues in H&S to the attention of the gov’t and ER’s and to pressure other stakeholders to take corrective action; they also use the collective bargaining process to incorporate H&S provisions into contracts 5. Partnerships: forming alliances among stakeholders to overcome barriers to implementing OHS programs, i.e. ER’s (reduce costs, increase image), EE’s (reduced injury) and unions (successfully champion interests of clients); gov’t also forms joint H&S committees (ER & worker reps) 6. Health & Safety Professionals: managers and HR experts cannot be solely responsible The Role of Human Resources  HR is the face of OHS and is almost exclusively managed under the HR function  The three E’s: a traditional approach to OHS that emphasized engineering, education and enforcement  OHS is a ‘People Issue’  Now the focus is on developing individual skills and abilities and on motivating individuals; through the use of orientation and training programs, HR professionals develop EE knowledge and skills and through compensation and awareness programs, HR professionals motivate safe working  Safety leadership and safety climate are also predictors of safety outcomes  Safety requires legislative compliance (labour law—employment equity, human rights legislation, BILL 168)  Safety decreases costs (also, HR has a role to ensure benefits an org. pays for are used most effectively to help injured workers and to ensure prompt return to health and work)  Relates to other HR functions (such as compensation, training, and benefits) New Focus: Employment Health  There are less physical injuries and more LT diseases, stress, psychological trauma, etc. Why?  Nature of work: more 2-earner families, work/family balance, people do similar things at home to work i.e. keyboarding, workforce is aging (more accommodation), more service jobs, fewer machines, continued intro of chemicals, many workers at home, multiple sites, etc. 4 CHAPTER 2: LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORKS Act: a federal, provincial, or territorial law that constitutes the basic regulatory mechanism for OHS, if broken, could be fined and imprisoned Regulations: explain how the general intent of the act will be applied in specific circumstances, helps us to enforce the law Guidelines & Policies: more specific rules that are not legally enforceable unless referred to in a regulation or act (recommendations), ex: check people purses before leaving Standards and Codes: design-related guides established by agencies such as the Canadian Standards Association and International Labour Organization The Scope of OHS Legislation: ER’s carry the burden—must hire competent workers and supervisors; if wrongdoings occur; they are vicariously liable under tort law Elements  an act  powers of enforcement  the right of workers to refuse to do unsafe work  protection of workers from reprisals  duties and responsibilities assigned to ER’s and others 4 Key Types of Legislation 1. ESA-attempt to provide benchmark, minimum standard of protection 2. OHS 3. Human Rights Code-promotes fairness, decreases harassment, ensures workplace is safe 4. Worker’s Compensation-compensation given to EE’s Exceptions  Work done by the owner or occupant, or a servant in a private residence  Farming operations  Federal jurisdiction—banks, post offices, airports, transportation & telecommunication co’s Two Models of OHS Legislation “Internal Responsibility System” Model  Right to know (about workplace hazards and WHMIS) ex: bank teller & robbery risks  Right to participate (through representation of H&S committees) ex: training sessions  Right to refuse unsafe work ex: cannot be forced to work in a threatening environment Pros:  More flexible to needs of diverse workplaces  Doesn’t rely heavily on government Cons:  Workers may be intimidated  Workers may not have resources to be effective committee members  Government must still ensure compliance  Rights may be used for other issues (out of conflict, political issues, want improvements, etc.) “Command & Control” Model  Type of leadership—everything has to follow guidelines  Specific regulations/ standards 5  Inspections  Fines/imprisonment Problems  Agency costs, costs of monitoring  Diversity of workplace situations  Many ER’s/workplaces-few inspectors  Fines too small—slap on the wrist (not influential) Duties of Employers, Owners and Contractors  Ensuring that equipment is provided and properly maintained  Appointing a competent supervisor  Providing information in a medical emergency  Informing supervisors and workers of possible hazards  Posting the OHS Act in the workplace  Preparing and maintaining a H&S policy and reviewing it annually Constructor: similar to responsibilities of ER’s—in H&S legislation, a constructor is a person or company who oversees the construction of a project and who is ultimately responsible for the H&S of all workers Duties of Supervisors  Ensuring that workers comply with the OHS Act and regulations  Ensuring that workers use or wear safety equipment, devices, or clothing  Advising workers of possible hazards  Providing written instructions if applicable  Taking every reasonable precaution to ensure the protection of workers Duties of Workers  Complying with the OHS Act and regulations  Properly using the safety equipment and clothes provided  Reporting hazards, such as defective equipment to the supervisor  Reporting any contraventions of the act or regulations **Duties of General Public—not contained to workplace alone, contains everyone Joint H&S Committees (JHSC)—right to participate  Recent addition to OHS legislation  Primary function is to provide a non-adversarial atmosphere in which labour and management can work together to create a safer and healthier workplace  1 certified worker, 1 certified manager come together in neutral setting to evaluate policies Work Refusals  The right to refuse unsafe work without fear of reprisals  Exceptions: if the work is a normal condition of employment or if the refusal places another life in jeopardy; police, firefighters, teachers and health care workers also have limited right to refusal (they can refuse to work if faulty or defective equipment) Procedure:  The worker must first apprise the supervisor of the suspected work hazard and then an investigation is conducted by the supervisor and worker representative (union, joint H&S committee member or co-worker); the results are either a return to work or continued refusal; 6 in a latter situation, a ministry official investigates and then provides a written decision (a replacement worker may not be assigned and the worker refusing to work may not be sent home) Stop-Work Provisions  2 forms: bilateral (work stoppage following investigation) & unilateral (without investigation)  Dangerous circumstance: a provision of the act or regulation is being contravened presenting a danger or hazard to a worker and is such that any delay in controlling it may seriously endanger a worker Problems: are they actually issues or people just abusing their right? WHMIS –began in the U.S and reflects the belief that workers have the right to know about hazards used in the workplace  6 elements: (ON) 1. Labels designed to alert the worker that the container contains a potentially hazardous product 2. Material safety data sheets outline a products potentially hazardous ingredients and procedures of safe handling 3. Employee training 4. Hazardous materials inventory requirement 5. Physical agents (ex. Noise) 6. The public's right to know  Labels: workplace and supplier  Workplace: 6 classes 1. Compressed gas 2. Flammable and Combustible Material 3. Oxidizing Material 4. Poisonous and Infectious Material 5. Corrosive Material 6. Dangerously Reactive Material  Supplier (black and white border) 1. Product identifier 2. Supplier identifier 3. Statement to refer to material safety data sheet 4. Hazard symbols 5. Risk phrases 6. Precautionary measures 7. First-Aid measures Training (worker should be able to)—program must be reviewed annually or as changes occur **  Identify WHMIS hazard symbols  Read WHMIS supplier and workplace labels  Read and apply the applicable info on an MSDS Environmental Legislation—OHS professional will be aware of the overlap in environmental statutes  Chemicals that can cause damage to worker may also damage ecosystem if released into environment 7 Corporate Liability  Fines or imprisonment for corporate pollution causing or permitting the discharge of liquid industrial waste into the ground  Cleanup costs associated with a property the corporation owns, controls or occupies  Fines for failing to comply with regulatory legislation CHAPTER 3: WORKER’S COMPENSATION Worker’s compensation: form of insurance governed by an act of Parliament to help workers injured on the job return to work, administered by Workers Compensation Board; ensures workers receive first aid treatment, benefits while at home recuperating, proper treatment for any injuries and rehabilitation Loss of functional capacity: limit of ability depending on seriousness of an injury Historical Roots-5 Principles 1. collective liability for ER’s, with some recognition of risk in the amount of contribution paid by individual ER’s 2. compensation for workers regardless of the financial condition of the ER 3. compensation based on loss of earnings 4. a “no-fault” system: blame not on ER or EE; anyone can receive compensation regardless of who was negligent 5. a nonadversarial process: little or no recourse to the courts Responsibilities  Injured workers will receive payment while off work and all medical bills paid if injury happened at work and because of work, pension if disability is or becomes permanent, and benefits if he or she cannot earn same amount of money earned before incident  Also, injured worker’s immediate family and dependants entitled to benefits if worker is killed or dies as a result of an injury on the job  Worker’s Compensation Board classifies ER’s based on size and work industry to ensure consistency; decide whether an individual is classified as an EE, worker, or subcontractor, as each class has different conditions  Lastly, Worker’s Compensation system can pay benefits if a worker is affected by an industrial disease that has resulted from his or her occupation Compensation Rates and Methods  Amount of compensation—based on a percentage of net earnings (generally 90%)-premium*  Net Earnings—salary after mandatory deductions (income tax, Canada Pension & EI)  Provide reasonable compensation without creating an incentive for individuals to stay off work  Economic Loss—wage or earnings loss when workers can no longer earn the same amount of money that they were earning before the incident Social Goals of Worker’s Compensation 1. Provide services to prevent injuries or reduce psychological impact of injuries when they occur 2. Pr
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