The Four Cornerstones of Safety

By Carola Mittag

Posted Jan 27th, 2020 in Tips & News

The Four Cornerstones of Safety

Even if you’ve heard it before, there’s always value to being reminded of the fundamentals of good safety management. You may be busy; however, the following concepts are core to making good decisions and prioritizing safety tasks.

1.     A Safety Program in Writing

  • The OHSA requires employers to have a written program and procedures that define and support health and safety policies. Documents must contain mandatory components as outlined by law.
  • The safety program sets the stage for employees by explaining how the employer manages workplace safety and their role and responsibilities toward workers.
  • The safety program also sets expectations for workers to work according to the law and employer requirements.
2.     Employee Training
  • Safety training is tied to hazard exposure and is unique to every organization.
  • The OHSA and Regulations require training of workers on any work that may expose them to certain hazards. This training may be on equipment, processes, materials and, required and correct use of PPE in particular instances.
  • Training requirements must be specific enough to ensure that employers and supervisors can prove due diligence, i.e. “doing everything reasonable in the circumstances to keep workers safe”.
  • At a minimum, the employer must identify:
    • What training is needed to ensure compliance
    • How often training is required in each identified subject
    • Specific information about training standards for each identified subject

3.     Correcting Hazards

  • Hazards in a workplace that must be identified and corrected are endless. Examples of hazards include:
    • Poor or hazardous air quality
    • Blocked emergency exits
    • Unguarded machinery
  • Who is responsible for correcting hazards? It may be the worker committee member or the health and safety representative.
    • Do they know how to identify hazards?
    • Have they received the proper training to carry out their roles?
  • Speak with workers who may be directly affected by a hazard. Ask them what is dangerous about their work activity or the equipment they are using.

4.     Enforcing Safe Behaviours and Work Practices

  • Employers must ensure that supervisors are competent, and that workers are properly trained to  carry out their jobs correctly and safely to prevent injury/illness.
  • Employers must reinforce and enforce safe work practices without fail!
  • When a culture exists where everyone has the best interest of everyone else in the workplace, the principle of the Internal Responsibility System is solid.

Not many companies can claim to be the G.O.A.T., but those that can are the Greatest of All Time in their field. Most often, the acronym G.O.A.T. praises exceptional athletes but also musicians and other public figures.

While WSG does not suggest that it is the G.O.A.T. health and safety resource, it is our G.O.A.L. to have the Greatest of All Liaisons with our clients!

Our expertise is at your disposal when you need a written safety program, employee training, a third-party view on correcting hazards in your workplace and need help in enhancing and enforcing your health and safety program with your workers.

Call one of our safety advisors today!

Get an evaluation of your workplace and get on track with safety and compliance.

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