Highlighting the North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) week provides us with the opportunity to recommit ourselves to the importance of workplace health and safety. On average, with three Canadians dying from an occupational injury or disease every day, or 1000 workers each year, this week gives us occasion to review the measures we have in place and consider the effectiveness of our actions in reducing the numbers of fatalities and injuries.
As part of this review, we ask that you focus your attention on commonly identified audit findings as listed below. In doing so, consider what you as an employee or employer could do to reduce and/or eliminate work place hazards. Frequent occupational health and safety (OH&S) findings, Canada wide, include non-compliances such as:
- Posting of safety related materials such as:
- the Canada Labour Code, Part II;
- the Aviation and the Canadian Occupational Safety and Health Regulations;
- the names and work locations of first aid attendants;
- the names OH&S Committee members and OH&S representatives;
- OH&S Committee minutes; and
- hazardous occurrence investigation results;
- Establishing OH&S Committees pursuant to the Canada Labour Code, Part II;
- Providing employees with training specific to the potential hazards they may experience in and around the work place, including "new" employee safety and health orientation;
- Establishing and maintaining an effective hazardous substances program (Work Place Hazardous Materials Information System);
- Conducting regular work place inspections including all fire and other emergency equipment;
- Ensuring all hazardous occurrences are investigated, recorded and reported as required;
- Providing adequate first aid training and facilities;
- Eliminating hazards in the work environment and failing the ability to do that, providing employees with the necessary Personal Protection Equipment (PPE);
- Practicing due diligence by maintaining prescribed standards and establishing policies to cover situations specific to the operation.
Although these are just a few of the work place non-compliances, you can make a difference by taking the time to check if your work place meets the above standards.
Contributor: David Lee, Civil Aviation Safety Inspector - OH&S, Pacific Region