Regardless of the type of business you operate, your overall goals will be like anyone else’s. You want to be profitable, productive, and successful. But you can’t do either of these if your workplace isn’t safe. Employees need to have protection on the job from hazards. They also need an environment where they can have good physical and emotional well-being. Some industries pose more safety and well-being risks than others. To make sure businesses are compliant with laws and regulations, safety inspections can occur. It’s important for companies to recognize the facets of inspections for workplace health and safety in Ontario.
Ministry of Labour officials may visit a business and conduct safety inspections for either proactive or reactive reasons. A proactive visit is unannounced. Its purpose is typically to advise employees and management of their rights, duties, and responsibilities in the workplace. The inspector may also help the company to stay in compliance and implement a health and safety program. Another purpose is to make company management aware of known hazards at work.
A proactive visit will usually involve a government inspector meeting with management and the company’s health and safety contact. The inspector will want to check all OHSA documentation and ensure it is accessible in a prominent place. The documentation should have a written safety policy and the company’s workplace violence and harassment policy. There may also be a need to see other documentation.
The second type, reactive visits occur because of a reported concern in the company. For example, suppose that there are problems regarding workplace health and safety in Ontario with this company. In that case, an official may come to investigate. This could come in response to an injury or fatality in the workplace. It may also be a result of a work refusal or complaint from an employee. Occupational illnesses and other safety-related issues may trigger such a visit.
If there is an injury or death at work, management must report the incident immediately to the Ministry of Labour. An inspector will come and conduct a thorough investigation. This will include interviewing coworkers, supervisors, and anyone else who may have witnessed the event. The investigator may also take pictures and measurements. Testing of equipment may also occur. The investigation may include charges against the company for OHSA violations.
After an Inspection of Workplace Health and Safety in Ontario
Help is available for companies after an inspection. If the company has received an order to make improvements or changes, management can contact the Ministry of Labour. It is also possible to appeal an inspection. However, this must happen within 30 days of the inspection date and any orders. The appeal will go through the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
Your Employees’ Health and Safety Matters Most
The purpose of Ontario workplace health and safety programs is to ensure the well-being of everyone in your organization. A health and safety inspection is an integral part of this process. Help is available to prepare for your inspection or to remain in compliance. Call S.A.F.E. Engineering today for guidance.