Here in our province, the OHS Act & Regulations requires that employers must establish and maintain an OHS Program for workplaces where 10 or more workers are employed.
Workplace NL describes an OHS Program as a process to manage health and safety issues in the workplace. It prevents injury, illness and property damage and decreases the associated human and financial costs. An effective OHS Program creates a positive health and safety culture.
Elements of an OH&S Program
- Leadership and administration
- OH&S Committee
- Education and training
- Safe work practices and procedures
- Hazard recognition, evaluation, and control
- Workplace inspections
- Incident investigations
- Emergency preparedness and response
- Disability management
Ergonomics (Musculoskeletal injury prevention) should also be incorporated throughout each element of the program.
An OH&S Program must be specific to each individual workplace. Although the minimum elements remain the same, the requirements, processes, tools, and documentation should be tailored to meet the needs of the company and must be reviewed at least every 3 years. Information and training must be provided to all workers regarding their roles and responsibilities. Worker engagement is essential to maintaining an OH&S Program.
There also must be commitment from top management in order for an OH&S Program to be effective.
Due diligence is the level of judgment, care, prudence, determination, and activity that a person would reasonably be expected to do under particular circumstances. When applied to occupational health and safety, this means that employers shall take all reasonable precautions, under the particular circumstances, to prevent injuries or incidents in the workplace. By implementing and maintaining an effective OH&S Program, an employer is exercising their due diligence.
By focusing on prevention and effectively managing workplace incidents, you can help keep your employees healthy and safe while saving your organization time and money.
Work safe. Home safe. Every day.
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