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Chapter 12

HR Chapter 12.doc

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Steve Risavy

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Chapter 12: Occupational Health and Safety Strategic Importance of Occupational Health and Safety • services provided to employees shows importance of their well- being to mgmt • prevents injuries and deaths that detract from productivity Basic Facts about Occupational Health and Safety Legislation • all provinces have legislation to protect health and safety of workers by minimizing work related accidents and illnesses • laws based on joint responsibility of workers and employers to keep hazard- free work environment and to enhance health and safety of workers Occupational Health and Safety Legislation • Three categories of rules o General health and safety o Specific industry o Specific hazards • regulations are complex, cover almost every possible hazard • legislation varies across Canada but share common basic features Responsibilities and Rights of Employers and Employees • employers o must provide “due diligence” to their employees o that is take every reasonable precaution to ensure health and safety of employees o includes filing accident reports, maintaining records, enforcing safety rules • employees o take reasonable care to protect themselves and co-workers o e.g. wearing proper equipment and reporting breaking of laws/rules • employees have 3 basic rights under joint responsibility model o right to know about workplace safety hazards o right to participate in occupational health and safety process o right to refuse unsafe work if there is “reasonable cause” to believe work is dangerous • reasonable cause means that complaint about workplace hazard has not been resolved to satisfaction • if task would have negative affect on health or safety, employee cannot be punished for refusal • (1) joint responsibility for health and safety • (2) due diligence responsibility (employer) • (3) right to refuse unsafe work (employee) Other Occupational Health and Safety Legislation Requirements • joint health and safety committees o function is to provide friendly environment where both sides can work to create safe workplace o usually composed of 2-12 people, half of which are employees o responsible for inspecting workplace for hazards and taking action to prevent accidents before they happen o investigate employee complaints and accidents o implement measures to protect health, distribute info • enforcement: health and safety inspectors (ex. Toyota) o gov’t inspectors can come into workplace at any time w/o notice or warrant and inspect for hazards o they can order actions be taken incl. stopping work, stopping use of tools, install first aid procedures o penalties include fines or incarceration o corporate executives can be held directly responsible • control of toxic substances o might not be visible o basic precautions in regards to toxic substances, biohazards (SARS) and physical agents (noise, radiation) o maintain inventory of substances, keep levels under maximum o Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)- Cdn legally enforced system to provide info to workers about hazardous materials in workplace o 1. labeling of hazardous material containers o 2. material safety data sheets to outline product’s ingredients and how to handle o 3. training to ensure all employees can read WHMIS symbols and labels • due to various legislation, there will be competing interests • human rights, labour relations, health and safety, employment standards • e.g. wearing a ceremonial knife and its implications on safety WHMIS Legislation • Labeling of hazardous materials • Material safety data sheets • Employee training o Must go on to ensure that there is an understanding of what is toxic Supervisor’s Role in Safety • legislation imposes personal duty on supervisors to ensure safety • need to get workers to want to work safely • safety commitment begins with top management o if top management lets little things go it creates an atmosphere where it is okay to fool around, disregard safety issues • enforce safety rules, ensure safe workplace, ensure employees want to work safely What Causes Accidents? • Three basic causes of accidents o Chance occurrence (beyond control)  No sense of control – random occurrences that cause issues o Unsafe conditions  These conditions will exaggerate small issues o Unsafe acts (by employees)  Our own tendency to ignore issues around safety Unsafe Conditions • improperly guarded equipment • defective equipment • hazardous procedures • unsafe storage • improper illumination • improper ventilation • create list of unsafe conditions to perform job hazards analysis • indicators of job hazards include more accidents, complaints, poor product quality Three Other Work-Related Accident Factors • job (some inherent dangerous) • work schedule (fatigue) • psychological climate (stress) o more importance to get the job done then get it done safely Unsafe Acts • throwing materials – from employee to employee • operating/working at unsafe speeds • rendering safety devices inoperative • using unsafe equipment/procedures • improper lifting • horseplay Causes of Unsafe Acts • Personal Characteristics o certain behaviour tendencies may lead to taking more risks and accidents o research: accident proneness is situational o many human traits linked to accidents in specific situations o vision- esp for driving jobs (poor vision or cant hear) o age- more common in younger people o perceptual versus motor skills  if perceptual skill >= motor skills, more likely safe worker o age (17-28)  younger individuals tend to be more careless o difference in perceptual vs. motor skill How to Prevent Accidents • reduce unsafe conditions o design jobs to be free of physical hazards o only 4% of accidents due to unsafe conditions • reduce unsafe acts o selection and placement o training and education  all employees should be required to complete health and safety training  employees should have input on design and content of training  training includes safe work practices, warning of hazards, development awareness about safety issues, emphasize commitment to appropriate workplace behaviour  evaluation techniques to ensure application of health and safety knowledge and procedures  posters valuable in combination with comprehensive safety program o positive reinforcement  communicate reasonable goals to employees for performing safely  encourage employees to increase performance to meet goals  regular inspections should be conducted and safety data charted so as to create visual for employees  praise should be shared when employees practice safe procedures o top-management commitment  senior managers personally involved in safety activities on regular basis  safety matters holding high priority in production scheduling, company meetings  linking safety to tangible results such as bonuses and bottom line o monitoring work overload and stress  when workers performance affected by limited time, resources, training  tendency to resort to risky work methods  monitor for signs of role overload and stress o identify traits that may be linked to accidents on jobs and decide if scores on this trait are related to accidents on the job  measures of muscular coordination- predictor of safety for certain jobs  tests of visual skills- vision  employee reliability tests- Employee Reliability Inventory measures reliability dimensions such as emotional maturity, conscientiousness  behaviour based interviewing- interviews and observations o Cdn study: injury costs for non-screened applicants much higher than their screened counterparts o Employers cannot ask applicants about previous compensation (claims made) to determine accident history due to human rights o Considered discrimination on grounds of disability o Candidates can be asked to demonstrate job related skills, if she has ability to perform essential duties, as long as all are asked • within your rights to not do something that is not safe – can threaten to sue management Controlling Workers’ Compensation Costs • worker’s compensation is the most expensive benefit provided by employer • steps to reduce workers compensation: • Before the accident o accident prevention measures (to control cost) o some firms have higher premium thus need more prevention costs o ensure measures so that you can claim to have done everything you could • After the accident o ensure medical attention o be supportive, keep in touch • facilitate the employee’s return to work o Commitment to keep in touch with employee and ensure return to work o Collaboration b/w all parties o Creativity in how to use worker’s remaining abilities o Can encourage early return to work by having modified work available o Functional abilities evaluations (FAE)- important in return to work, conducted by health care pro  Improve chances that injured worker will be safe on job  Help worker performance by identifying problem areas that can be solved through physical therapy  Determine level of disability so worker can return to old job or be accommodated in new one • employer can work with family and EAP resources to help employee Employee Wellness Programs • three parts in healthy workplace: physical environment, social environment, health practices • employee wellness programs- programs that take proactive approach to employee health and well being • use of wellness programs has measurable outcomes such as decreased a
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