It's All About the Money

It’s always about the money.

Submitted by Rick Parsons – Expert Safety Solutions

Safety costs too much. I don’t have time to train my guys or shut my business down while I get them trained. I have to buy all this safety gear for their protection at work? Well…maybe it’s not all about the money.

Could it be that many don’t know what’s really required when it comes to Workplace Health and Safety? Or, they think they have to break the bank to be in compliance?

Well, here’s a news flash. It is not difficult or complicated to achieve a proper Health and Safety Program at work. Furthermore, it will cost you far less than having an accident or critical injury. For example: 

You run a construction business, which involves working at heights and handling hazardous materials like caulking, solvents, adhesives and propane that come under WHMIS regulations. So you train your workers in Fall Protection and WHMIS. All good. But, you neglect to get a copy of the Record of Training from the company that did the training. And a couple of the guys lose their certificates of training that you didn’t photocopy.

While working on a roof a few weeks later, one of your guys slips off the roof and lands on the paved driveway beside the house. He strikes his head and is critically injured. Because of the seriousness of the injury, and the fact that it is a workplace accident the Ministry of Labour is called in. Their investigation reveals that he was wearing a harness and even had a lanyard attached, but he wasn’t tied off to an anchor.

They ask for documentation to support your claim that you had trained all your guys in fall protection including the importance of tying off to a proper anchor point. Uh-oh!

Now they want to see your documentation for the WHMIS training course that you say you also did. And, they ask for your health and safety policies and procedures which include your Workplace Violence Prevention and Harassment prevention policies. All required by law under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The dictionary defines documentation as, “thefurnishing and use of documentary evidence, as in a court of law”

What evidence or documentation will you present to prove that you have done your Due Diligence, that you did ‘everything reasonable under the circumstances’ to protect the health and safety of your worker? This is where it gets dicey. The future of your business can be resting on this critical moment. Not a good place to be!

However, it doesn’t have to be that way.  If you are able to produce the necessary documentation then most likely you will not be charged. However, not knowing what is required is not a defense in a court of law.

In judicial proceedings, the only thing that counts is, can you prove it, and how. It has to be, “the furnishing and use of documentary evidence”.

When an organization demonstrates the importance of safety by management involvement and consistent policies and practices, workers will then believe safety is important and participate in the safety program. They will have no choice.

So is it really all about the money? For some, it may be the only thing that matters.

But, if your focus is on protecting your employees from injuries at work, and making sure that they follow safe work practices and regulations, guess what?

You will save money, and, you will also ensure the future of your company or business.

 

Rick Parsons

Expert Safety Solutions

 

 

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