Every day when you leave for work, you go with the hope of coming back home safely by the end of the day. You believe your workplace to be a safe space for you to work and there is a certain level of trust that your employer will be responsible for ensuring your safety. Legally, employers are bound to keep their workplace safe and comfortable for their employees to work. When they fail to adhere to the legal standards as prescribed by the Canada Labor Code, these employers can be held liable. The famous Potter versus New Brunswick legal aid services Commission case where Mr. Potter was dismissed under unfair grounds, and the O.P.T. v. Presteve foods case, where two foreign workers faced sexual assault are proof that not all employers adhere to the workplace safety codes.
As an employee, it is imperative that you are aware of what your employer should be doing for you. This information will then help you seek legal help in the event of any unfair practices at your workplace.
Information, Training, and Supervision
Employers are expected to possess the required expertise to provide information, train, and supervise their employees on various safety measures and precautionary actions. Ideally, an employer should have an appropriate understanding of workplace safety procedures, knowledge regarding the usage of tools and equipment, and awareness of known or foreseeable hazards. Armed with all this information, your employer should provide you with training sessions to teach and reinforce important safety information from time to time.
Health and Safety Committees
Responsible employers would also set up health and safety committees at their workplace to address issues about workplace safety. The main function of these committees would be to:
- Maintain regular meetings: The agenda of these meetings is workplace safety and the related challenges. The focus is to always create a safe and hazard-free workplace for employees.
- Conduct monthly inspections: These inspections are done to ensure that occupational health and safety hazards are addressed before they lead to serious injuries.
- Analyse job hazard incidents and investigate accidents: It is necessary to conduct accident investigations to avoid further such mishaps in the future. In the event of a workplace injury, employers are expected to send a written investigation report to the Labor program within 24 hours.
Lastly, employers are expected to submit two annual reports to the Labor Program, namely the Employers Annual Hazardous Occurrence Report and the Workplace Committee report. These were some of the responsibilities every employer in Canada needs to know. Ever felt that your employer has fallen short of adhering to the necessary safety code of conduct? Get legal help at the earliest.