We all are too familiar with the term – “Monday Morning Blues,” right? Well! For those who are not, the term signifies a certain kind of sadness attached to the passing away of the weekend and the start of the weekday! The post-pandemic world might look different, but soon it will be time to get back to office spaces. Most employers are in the process of making that call. However, an employer’s responsibilities regarding workplace injuries may not impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It does not matter the kind of workplace you are a part of – whether you work in an establishment that remained open during the lockdowns, like the restaurant offering take-out, hospitals, banks, grocery stores, etc., or whether you work in offices that are in the process of opening up. Your employer is legally bound to keep your workplace safe and comfortable for their respective employees to carry on with their work.
There is an unavoidable aspect of trust and expectation that your office will be a safe space to walk into when you get to work. The responsibility for your safety in the workplace, to a large extent, lies with your employer. What’s more, failure to adhere to the set legal standards by the Canada Labor Code may result in employers being held liable.
If you are an employee, it is crucial that you are aware of your rights and your employee’s responsibilities regarding your safety in the workplace. Being aware of these details will help you seek legal help should an untoward incident occur – one that is marred with unfair practices at your place of work.
Here are three areas that come under the purview of an employer that relates to their employees’ workplace safety. The three things your employer should focus on are: information, training, and supervision.
So, what do we mean by the above?
As employers, it is their legal responsibility to possess the expertise to provide the required information, training and supervision to their employees on subjects relating to safety measures and preventive actions that can be practiced to keep the workplace safe.
Ideally, it is the duty of an employer to have a proper understanding of safety procedures that are relevant to the place of work. For instance, the correct procedures concerning the types of equipment and tools and their usage. There should be adequate knowledge regarding potential hazards and a thorough understanding of preventive measures.
In addition to the above, your employer must regularly conduct training sessions, ensuring that safety measures are reiterated and communicated clearly amongst employees.
Setting up committees concerning health and safety – A responsible employer may have functioning committees that deal with workplace health and safety concerns by addressing relevant issues and ensuring employee safety.
These committees may be set up keeping the following agenda in mind, including having regular meet-ups to bring awareness regarding health and safety concerns in the workplace while ensuring correct measures to maintain the standard of safety regulations. At all times, the focus of these meetings must remain on creating a safe and hazard-free workplace for employees.
The employers must conduct monthly inspections – These inspections have a purpose and are there to make sure that occupational health and safety hazards can be addressed before they lead to severe injuries.
Additionally, it is also the employer’s duty to analyze incidents relating to job hazards and be able to investigate any related accidents at the workplace promptly. A thorough investigation leads to findings that can be helpful and serve as preventive learning to avoid any such similar incidents in the future.
As an employee, you have a right to a safe workplace. Being aware of your employer’s responsibilities towards ensuring your safety is equally important. If you find that your employer has ignored their responsibilities, resulting in a hazardous or accident-prone workplace, you can seek legal help to know your options. Additionally, if you are someone who has been impacted by severe or mild injury as a result of your employer’s negligence at the workplace, you should know that you are not alone, and there is legal advice that can support you with your case.
Prowse Chowne LLP is ready for your call. Our personal injury lawyers are experienced and committed to helping our clients get what they deserve. Contact us today!