Have you considered regular site safety audits of your company’s procedures?
In this day and age, an ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure!
By Alec Caldwell
If you were waiting for a reason to get really serious about site safety, here it is:
On November 27th, Ontario’s Minister of Labour Chief Prevention Officer George Gritziotis issued the following “Zero Tolerance’ statement”
“This week, four workers were killed in separate incidents while at work. The lives of many families have been shattered. Colleagues and communities now have to deal with irreparable losses.
“These are pointless and senseless workplace fatalities. It’s the law to keep all workers safe in the Province of Ontario. Through this statement I’m calling on the workplace parties to take on this serious responsibility to keep all workers safe.
“Ministry of Labour inspectors will aggressively be using a zero-tolerance approach to reckless violations and hazards.
“The Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations are the law. Everyone in the workplace, senior executives, owners/operators, directors, managers, supervisors, workers are expected to obey the act and its regulations. It’s the law. There are no excuses. There will be consequences.
“All of us have a responsibility for workforce safety. Preventing injuries and fatalities has to be top of mind every workday. Not one of us wants to be part of that next statistic. All of us must take ownership of our responsibilities on the job. You cannot say: it’s not my problem, its not part of my job. Health and safety is your job. It is a part of everybody’s job”
End of statement.
Question: Is anyone monitoring your company’s construction workplaces site for safety on a regular basis?
Remember; construction is dynamic, and safety concerns change every second. Supervisors or project managers might not always be able to act quickly enough to avert worker place injuries or fatalities!
When incidents do happen, it becomes a company’s responsibility will likely be required to prove their safety due diligence in a court of law. As a result, many contractors and employers have decided to increase company compliance for more protection. They’ve moved beyond the basic level of safety compliance and now engage in running regular safety audits, using outside qualified consultants to visit and audit their job sites.
It’s a cost of doing business and it’s well spent!
Monitoring sites and receiving written reports strengthens the company’s safety manual (Policy & Procedure) in terms of compliance. This manual may have to be presented in court to defend a company’s actions, hopefully demonstrating they not only complied and did everything possible but in fact did even more to protect the safety of workers and sub trades.
Safety auditors can be contracted to visit work sites and monitor work sites either regularly or as required. For those in Ontario, auditors you could consider are Approved Training Providers through the Ontario’s Ministry of Labour’s Working At Height Standard program. You’ll find these providers on the MOL web site.
(Note: Not all those listed may offer this service.)
Safety Audits can locate problems quickly, and in many cases resolving them on the spot with the assistance of site project managers and supervisors. Identifying and resolving safety issues before they escalate can be the key to averting disaster. Furthermore, the addition of work site safety tool box talks allows workers to exercise one of their rights of participation under the Act.
Safety audits can reduce job site closures, fines or prosecution.
If you have questions on any safety issues or Audits, contact us Toll free at 1 866 366 2930.
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