I find it hard to chew through some comments from local employers regarding OHS programs in place (and an obvious lack thereof). Some even think that there is only one small section of the regulation that applies to their operations. But did you know that the entire OHS Regulation in your province of operation applies to your business?
So I thought I would share some basic info for those who were previously unaware. (And for the rest of you with OHS Programs in place; audited or not, please ignore this post). Worksafe BC has a plethora of information available for free on their website and other web pages.
Did you know that as an employer, you must provide copies of applicable regulations in your workplace for your employees? Printed documents, or provision of an electronic copy (which is readily accessible in the site office or work truck) are both considered acceptable.
Did you also know that you must have appropriate first aid in place, as well as adequate rescue and evacuation preparedness in the event of an emergency? Think of a bosun chair rope worker alone on a high rise building without risk assessment and controls in place; working in isolation procedures (with regular documented check-in system); or any form of competent rescue assistance on site. Are they compliant? The answer is no.
The costs saved by skimping on safety do not warrant bad business practices which put worker safety as the lowest priority. There are many unique risks associated with each occupation. As an example, work at height has serious implications. If a worker is put into a situation where there is a risk of a fall from height, and that fall would result in serious injury or fatality; the risk is extremely high. Therefor adequate training, risk assessments, and hazard controls must be in place and documented to reduce/eliminate the risks for the workers. Mitigating those risks is the employers obligation.
So why does Worksafe carry out Safety Inspections? The answer is simple. Workplace safety is not an option. It’s a legal requirement to operating a business which employs workers.