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Chapter 14

Chapter 14 BU354.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
John Coffey

BU354 Chapter 14 – Occupational Health and Safety Week 10 Strategic Importance of Occupational Health and Safety -Health and safety initiatives are part of a strategic approach to human resources management -Lost-time injury rate- measures any occupational injury or illness resulting in an employee being unable to fulfill the work full work assignments, not including any fatalities -Workplace health concerns are also widespread Basic Facts about Occupational Health and Safety Legislation -Occupational health and safety legislation- laws intended to protect the health and safety of workers by minimizing work-related accidents and illnesses Purpose -These laws fall into three categories: general health and safety rules, rules for specific industries, and rules related to specific hazards -The regulations are very complex and cover almost every conceivable hazard in great detail -Differ across Canada Responsibilities and Rights of Employers and Employees -Employers are responsible for taking every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of their workers – “due diligence” requirement -Employer duties include filing government accident reports, maintaining records, ensuring teat safety rules are enforced, and posting safety notices and legislative information -Employees are responsible for taking reasonable care to protect their own health and safety and, in most cases that of their co-workers -Specific requirements include wearing protective clothing and equipment and reporting and contravention of the law or regulations -Employees have three basic rights: -The right to know about workplace safety hazards -The right to participate in the occupational health and safety process -The right to refuse unsafe work if they have “reasonable cause” Joint Health and Safety Committees -Function is to provide a non-adversial atmosphere where management and labour can work together to ensure a safe and healthy workplace -Committees are usually required to consist of between 2 and 12 members -The committee is responsible for making regular inspections of the workplace to identify potential health and safety hazards -Committees are also responsible for investigating employee complaints, accident investigation, development and promotion of measures to protect health and safety The Supervisor’s Role in Safety -Most jurisdictions impose a personal duty on supervisors to ensure that workers comply with occupational health and safety regulations -Supervisors must advise and instruct workers about safety, to ensure that all reasonable precautions have been taken to provide for the safety of all employees and to minimize risks or injuries or illness -Minimizing hazards is important Enforcement of Occupational Health and Safety Laws -Occupational health and safety law provides for government inspectors to periodically carry out safety inspections of workplaces -Health and safety inspectors have wide powers to conduct inspections in any workplace at any time without a warrant or prior notification and may engage in any examination and inquiry that they believe BU354 Chapter 14 – Occupational Health and Safety Week 10 necessary to ascertain whether the workplace is in compliance with the law -Penalties consist of fines and/or jail terms -Canadian corporate execs and directors may be held directly responsible for workplace injuries, and in some cases corporate officers have been convicted and received prison sentences for health and safety violations Control of Toxic Substances -Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) – a Canada-wide, legally mandated system designed to protect workers by providing information about hazardous materials in the workplace -WHMIS has three components: 1. Labelling of hazardous material containers to alert workers that there is a potentially hazardous product inside 2. MSDS to outline a product’s potentially hazardous ingredients and procedures for safe handling of the product 3. Employee training to ensure that the employees can identify WHMIS hazard symbols, read WHMIS supplier and workplace labels, and read and apply the information on an MSDS Occupational Health and Safety and Other Legislation -Health and safety, human rights, labour relations, and employment standards laws are in force in every jurisdiction in Canada -Situations often arise when it is difficult to know which law is applicable, or which one takes precedence over another -Without full commitment at all levels of management, any attempts to reduce unsafe acts by workers will meet with little success What Causes Accidents? -Workplace accidents have three basic causes: chance occurrences, unsafe conditions, and unsafe acts on the part of employees Chance Occurrences -These are out of a manager’s control Unsafe Conditions -One of the main causes of accidents -Include improperly guarded equipment, defective equipment, hazardous procedures, unsafe storage, improper illumination and improper ventilation -Sometimes the job itself, the work schedule, and the psychological climate contribute to accidents -Work schedules and fatigue also affect accident rates Unsafe Acts -Throwing materials -Operating or working at unsafe speeds – too fast or too slow -Making safety devices inoperative by removing, adjusting, or disconnecting them -Using unsafe equipment or using equipment unsafely -Using unsafe procedures in loading, placing, mixing, and combining g -Taking unsafe positions under suspended loads -Lifting improperly -Distracting, teasing, abusing, startling, quarrelling, and instigating horseplay Personal Characteristics BU354 Chapter 14 – Occupational Health and Safety Week 10 -Personal characteristics can serve as the basis for certain undesirable attitudes and behaviour tendencies, such as the tendency to take risks -Years of research have failed to unearth any set of traits that accident repeaters seem to have in common Vision -Vision is related to accident frequency for many jobs Literacy -The risk of accidents is higher for employees who cannot read and understand machinery operating instructions, safety precautions, equipment and repair manuals, first aid instructions, or organizational policies on workplace health and safety -Low literacy skills potentially put workers and their co-workers in harm’s way and increase the likelihood of work stoppages due to accidents or errors Age -Accidents are general most frequent among people between the ages of 17 and 28, declining thereafter to reach a low in the late 50s and 60s Perceptual vs. Motor Skills -If a worker’s perceptual skill is greater than or equal to his or her motor skill, the employee is more likely to be a safe worker than another worker whose perceptual skill is lower than his or her motor skill -A worker who reacts more quickly than he or she can perceive is more likely to have accidents How to Prevent Accidents Reducing Unsafe Conditions -Employer’s first line of defence -Safety engineers can design jobs to remove or reduce physical hazards Reducing Unsafe Acts Selection Testing -Criterion selection tests can help screen out accident prone individuals before they are hired -Many employers would like to inquire about applicants’ workers’ compensation before hiring, in part to avoid habitual workers’ compensation claimants and accident-prone individuals Top-Management Commitment -Successful health and safety programs require a strong management commitment Training and Education -Safety training is another technique for reducing accidents -The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety and several safety associations are available to partner in training efforts -All employees should be required to participate in occupational health and safety training programs, and opportunities for employee input into the content and design of such programs is advisable -Safety posters can also help reduce unsafe acts Positive Reinforcement -Safety programs based on positive reinforcement can improve safety behaviour at work -Employees often receive little or no positive reinforcement for performing safely BU354 Chapter 14 – Occupational Health and Safety Week 10 Controlling Workers’ C
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