Occupational Health & Safety
Employers have an overall duty to take every reasonable precaution to protect workers’ health and safety. The easiest way to fulfill this duty is to recognize, evaluate and control workplace threats, and provide essential training to all employees. The Occupational Health and Safety Act specifically sets out of the role and responsibilities of employers with respect to workplace violence and harassment. There are strict standards that employers are obligated to follow to promote and protect workers, including developing and implementing policies and programs. Creating a workplace policy or statement is an effective way to orchestrate the company’s commitment to maintaining and protecting worker health and safety.
Employers have many legal obligations in the pursuit of occupational health and safety. Some responsibilities include:
- Annually creating and reviewing a policy on workplace harassment
- Develop and maintain a program to implement the workplace harassment policy
- Establishing and maintaining a health and safety committee, or ensuring employees select at least one health and safety representative.
- Ensuring all reasonable precautions are in effect to ensure the workplace is safe
- Training employees about any and all potential hazards and confirming employees know how to safely use, handle, store and dispose of hazardous substances
- Confirming employees know how to handle emergency situations.
- Supplying protective equipment and ensuring workers know how to use the equipment safely and properly.
- Immediately reporting all critical injuries to the government department responsible for Occupational Health & Safety.
- Appointing a supervisor who can set the standards for performance
Employers would be wise to develop programs to implement their workplace policies. These programs may include:
- Workplace harassment programs
- Workplace inspections and hazard analysis
- Emergency evacuation procedures
- Developing a health and safety budget
- Analyzing the number of workplace injuries and accidents occurring at the workplace
- Electrical safety
- Maintenance and repairs
- Ventilation etc.
Why choose an employment lawyer at Levitt LLP?
For years, our employment lawyers have been helping employers design, implement and manage industry-specific solutions for achieving Occupational Health and Safety compliance.
Understanding your legal requirements as an employer for maintaining and promoting workplace health and safety can be confusing and difficult to orchestrate. There are many requirements that employers must follow in order to be absolved of liability, especially in regards to workplace violence and harassment. Our employment lawyers work with employers to develop internal policies and procedures that help ensure workplace safety; we understand the urgency of helping employers respond to Occupational Health and Safety incidents when they occur.
Our Employment lawyers are also experienced in mediating settlements and defending employers’ interests when they are faced with charges under Occupational Health and Safety legislation. Each situation is unique; so talk with one of our employment lawyers in Toronto, the GTA or across Canada to learn about how we can help you reduce the HR risks in your organization.
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