Chapter 12 – Safe, Secure and Productive Workplaces
Invested in safety when times were tough
Make loblaw the best again strategy
o Ergonomics to create efficiencies
Legal, ethical duty of employers to provide workers safe, healthy place to work
Healthy workers are more productive
Worker has much broader definition than employee
o Contractor, employee & third-party employee
Occupational Health and Safety Legislation
Legislation did not emerge until the 1870s
Law that authorizes government to establish and enforce occupational health and safety
standards, administrative requirements, and enforcement mechanisms in respect of the
o Summary: The rules of safety, the standards, and the enforcement
Internal Responsibility System (IRS) – a system within an organization where every person has
direct responsibility for health and safety as an essential part of his or her job.
o Employers are ultimately responsible when worker becomes sick, injured or killed
o Periodic review and revision important
o Internal employees such as doctors, nurses and external such as ministries of labour all
contribute to effectiveness of IRS
o Effective IRS include:
Safety first and safety always – a job that cannot be done safely, should not be
done. Reasonable care is important.
Safety is everyone’s’ responsibility – legal responsibility, personal responsibility.
Safe work is efficient work – accidents considered an unacceptable cost of
Employer Duties and Responsibilities
o Take every reasonable precaution to protect the health and safety of their workers.
o An employer charged with occupational health and safety offence will need to prove it
exercised due diligence (legal obligation)
o General duty on employers , even though regulations made by government stakeholders
o Supervisor is generally a person with direction, control or authority over workers – title
Some specific duties in some statues
o Directors and officers may be personally charged and made liable for violations of
occupational health and safety o Westray Bill – amended criminal code making occupational health and safety negligence
a criminal offence.
The real impact of the bill is to create criminal liability for a corporate entity
Employee Rights, Duties and Responsibilities
o Recognizes critical role employees play in health, safe workplace
o Have positive legal duties, have a duty to follow safety practices and procedures
o Workers have the right to refuse unsafe work, empowerment.
Limits on this placed in some jurisdictions
Right must not be abused by workers
Joint Health and Safety Committees
o JHSCS are mandated in all jurisdictions
Joint health and safety committee
o Advisory in nature, no legal authority
o Establish creative solutions, planning and implementing an effective plan of action
o 300+ employees must establish a policy committee.
Oversees and coordinates the activities of occupational health and safety
o Use of inspections, investigations, prosecutions and penalties
o Inspectors have broad powers
Have authority to issue orders and directions
Request legal opinions
May testy in legal proceedings
o Valuable for guidance and insight
o Remedial authority: Stop-work orders, prohibitions of certain equipment use, removal of
o Charges under health and safety legislation are quasi-criminal in nature.
Can face jail time depending on jurisdiction
850,000 fine for FORD, 2 employees died.
o Standards prohibit some use of chemical, place limits and controls to reduce exposure.
o Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
A Canada-wide system designed to give employers and workers information
about hazardous materials in the workplace.
“Right to know” legislation
National program requires hazardous materials to be identified and properly
Employees must be adequately trained
Effect of OHSL (Occupational Health and Safety Laws)
o Fatalies have increased over time, reports have decreased though.
o Conforming the statute does not guarantee safety, many employees go beyond the letter
of the law Understanding and Preventing Workplace Accidents
Most accidents are preventable
o Aside from legal obligation, workplace accidents cost money for employers.
o Average time lost costs direct costs and indirect costs
o Directly attributable to human error
o General disregard for safety standards
o Also include conduct in workplace that distracts you or others from focusing on their
work (horseplay, bullying, arguments, jokes)
o A physical hazard or inadequate safety programs, policy or training that poses a risk to
the health and safety of workers.
o Also caused by people, can be created by individuals or symptomatic of a lax safety
o Conditions include: inadequate lighting, poor weath conditions, inadequate safety
o Effective IRS is key to this process.
Personal Occupational Characteristics
o Personal and occupational characteristics have been shown to affect likelihood of
Likelihood higher in men than woman.
Employees working longer hours, and rotating hours also at higher risk.
Young workers’ inexperience a problem
Language barrier are considerations in their health and safety training
Service industry jobs have lower accident rates than goods-producing industries
Excessive worker stress has also been shown to affect workplace health and
Should invest in measures to relieve stress
Stress related absences are estimated to cost Canadian employers 3.5
billion a year
Jobs monotnoeous have higher rates
Fatigue also high contributor to accidents at work
Good lighting, comfortable temperatures, reasonable noise levels are
important at reducing fatigue
Top-Down Safety Commitment and Culture
o Lead by example
o Making hand asafety a priority also means making health and safety visible throughout
Posters pamphlets, safety policies
Health and Safety Training and Education
o Is necessary for legal obligations, but also to ensure policies and procedures can
effectively put into practice.
Should be periodic Evaluation is important to evaluate the information is being received and
understood as intended.
o Tests can assess specific job-related skills and knowledge
o Demonstration of skills, simulation or a written exercise
o Essential to ensure all selection testing is effective and legally valid.
Safety Awareness Programs
Employer programs that attempt to instill symbolic and substantive changes in the organization’s
emphasis on safety
o Go beyond compliance with occupational health and safety laws
o Identifying and communicating hazards, reinforcing safe practices, and promoting safety
Identifying Job Hazards, Analysis and Communication of Risk
o Job Hazard Analysis technique
Breakdown of each job into basic elements, each of which is rated for its
potential for harm or injury.
Input from workers who