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Safe Smart for Workplace Leaders Summary Why Prevent Workplace Accidents and Injuries?

Workplace leaders must work together to make their organization safe and healthy. The impact of workplace illnesses and injuries is immense, impacting the employees involved, their families, friends, communities and organizations. It is important to work proactively in setting expectations and putting in place health and safety prevention strategies. There are both human and other costs associated with workplace accidents and injuries. Similar to an iceberg, most of these costs are hidden, with the indirect costs of an accident being significantly greater than the direct injury and illness related costs. Often there are a number of near misses at the bottom of the accident pyramid that offer opportunities for corrective action to be taken before a serious injury occurs. A hazard assessment needs to be conducted and preventative measures implemented to prevent workplace accidents.

Health and Safety Law in Ontario

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) is the overarching piece of legislation that governs health and safety in Ontario workplaces. A guide to the OHSA is a helpful resource and can be found at www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/ohsaguide/index.html Regulations established under the OHSA outline specific rules and procedures for particular work industry sectors or operations. Guidelines, standards and codes (such as the Fire Code, Building Code or CSA Standards) are not legally enforceable unless adopted in a regulation. A full list of regulations may be found at www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/about/leg/ohsa_regs.html The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA) provides a compensation system for Ontarios workers and employers. The Canada Business Service Centre provides an overview of the WSIA and links to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, at www.cbsc.org . The health and safety section of the Canada Labour Code applies to federally regulated workplaces.

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Health and Safety Rights and Responsibilities

Among other rights, the OHSA gives workers the right to know, the right to participate and the right to refuse unsafe work. Everyone in the workplace has a shared responsibility for workplace health and safety. This is known as the Internal Responsibility System (IRS). Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSCs) and Workplace Representatives support the IRS. More information can be found in the Guide for Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSCs) and Representatives in the Workplace at www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/jhsc/ The OHSA sets out responsibilities for owners, constructors, employers, supervisors and workers.

Workplace Accidents and Injuries

Specific notification and reporting requirements must be fulfilled in the event of a fatality, critical injury, disabling injury, occupational illness or unusual occurrence as defined under the OHSA. The Injury Illness and Employment Accommodation (IIEA) program is designed to assist managers in supporting employees with occupational or non-occupational injuries or illnesses in early and safe return to work. An Employers Report of Injury/Disease (Form 7) must be filed with WSIB within three days of a workplace accident that causes an injury or illness involving health care, time away from work or lost wages.

Early & Safe Return to Work

Reduces wage loss to worker, emphasizes early communication/ intervention, retains talented and experienced employees who encounter health issues. Workers and employers are required to co-operate in order to facilitate an injured worker's early and safe return to suitable work by: o Initiating contact as soon as possible after an injury o Maintaining communication throughout recovery and return to work o Working towards identifying suitable work and arranging return to work o Providing WSIB with information about the return to work plans o Notifying the WSIB of any dispute or disagreement

OHSA Enforcement

The Ministry of Labour is mandated to enforce the OHSA and regulations which govern health and safety in Ontario workplaces. Safe workplaces are productive workplaces. Senior managers have the biggest impact and responsibility for health and safety in the workplace. Safe Smart for Workplace Leaders Summary 2

MOL Inspectors have a number of powers, which enable them to enforce the OHSA and associated regulations. Non-compliance with the OHSA may result in on-the-spot offence notices, known as tickets, MOL orders or charges.

Defence of Due Diligence

OHS offences are strict liability defences subject to the defence of due diligence. Two branches to this defence are the ability to demonstrate all reasonable precautions were taken and the belief in a mistaken set of facts. To establish a due diligence defence, a proper OHS system must have been in place and operating effectively before the commission of the offence. Some of the components of an OHS system reviewed by the courts include the identification and assessment of workplace hazards, implementation of corrective action, written policies and procedures, worker training, monitoring and ongoing program evaluation.

Health and Safety When Hiring Contractors

A company retains the status of an employer when contracting for nonconstruction work or services. Before entering into a contract for service consider ensuring the following are in place: o the contractor/subcontractor has a health and safety policy and a detailed program to implement the policy o there is sufficient and competent workplace supervision o appropriate policies and procedures are in place for the type of work to be performed; employees are properly trained o you retain the right of approval for subcontractors o these items are included in the contract language

Case Law

Case law provides examples of the standard to which you will be held in a prosecution for failure to comply with a provision of the OHS Act or regulation. For recent prosecutions, refer to the Ministry of Labour website at www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/news/court_news.html

Criminal Code of Canada

In 2004, the Criminal Code of Canada was amended by Bill C-45 to include a specific OHS legal duty and make it easier to attach liability to organizations. These provisions apply to both federal and provincially Safe Smart for Workplace Leaders Summary 3

regulated workplaces. To read more about Bill C-45, refer to the Canadian Department of Justice website at www.canada.justice.gc.ca/en/dept/pub/c45/ The changes brought on by Bill C-45 make it easier for a finding that an organization committed the offence of criminal negligence by establishing rules for attributing to organizations criminal liability for the acts of their representatives.


Occupational Health and Safety Management

An effective health and safety management system will ensure that health and safety is integrated in the day-to-day practices of the workplace, reduce the costs associated with workplace injuries and accidents and ensure you meet the requirements of the OHSA. Ten general components of an effective OHS management system include: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Leadership Business planning Hazard/risk identification & assessment Hazard prevention & control Policies, procedures & guidelines Employee involvement Training Accident/incident investigation & response Emergency planning Performance review & improvement


Management plays an essential role in ensuring the health and safety of employees.

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