Are You Prepared for Workplace Inspection Blitzes?

workplaceinspectionAre You Prepared for Workplace Inspection Blitzes?

Many of you have been or will be facing workplace inspectors arriving at your door. Here are some good practices to help you prepare:

Internal Responsibility System (IRS) Review

As the IRS is the underlying philosophy of the occupational health and safety legislation, this will be one of the key areas of focus for inspectors.  Some helpful reminders for an effective IRS are:

  • The internal responsibility system puts in place an employee-supervisor-employer partnership. The breach by one party does not relieve others of duty.
  • You have a responsibility for yourselves and safety of contractors at your buildings and jobs.
  • Everyone must understand the IRS process, believe in it, and take steps to make it effective all levels in the organization.
  • There is zero tolerance for “work-arounds” that might lessen safety.
  • Employers have a responsibility to deal with workers who disregard safety procedures.

When the inspectors arrive, they will be looking for proof of compliance to the occupational health and safety legislation.

Process Steps to Get Ready

  • If an inspector shows up, it makes perfect sense to have a designated point person(s), e.g. safety representatives, to greet and show the inspector around. Ideally, a management representative is recommended.
  • Conduct a review of minutes from your Joint Health & Safety Committee meetings. Inspectors may request a review of Committee minutes with a specific interest in recurring issues that lack intervention.
  • Organize your system of records management for workplace health and safety. If an inspector requests a document that is not readily retrievable, offer a timeline for provision of such information.
  • Conduct your own workplace inspection, including a proper assessment of your equipment inventory with a view to identifying any existing or potential hazards.
  • Ensure your Health and Safety training records for staff are easily accessible to inspectors. This practice is extremely important and protects an organization if an employee indicates otherwise.
  • Ensure employees are provided with health and safety orientation and training, including an understanding of harassment and violence policies, operation of equipment and common workplace hazards. As the Ministry of Labour is focusing on young employees in the workplace, e.g. students holding summer jobs, ensure this cohort of workers are sufficiently aware of workplace health and safety practices.

Ministry of Labour Inspection Schedule

The following is the inspection schedule and focus of the Ministry of Labour over the next couple years.

Internal Responsibility System – Workplace Violence Prevention

  • Phase 1: Compliance support and prevention education (Ministry of Labour and Public Services Health Association) – April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2018
  • Phase 2: Ministry of Labour enforcement campaign – July 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019

Health Care High Hazards

  • Internal Responsibility System – Long-term care/retirement homes
  • Internal responsibility system, Workplace Violence, Needle Safety – Primary care such as family health teams, community health centres.
  • Workplace Violence – Hospitals

This is a 3-month extension of the 2017-18 health care initiative.

Municipalities Blitz Schedule

  • Phase 1: Compliance support and prevention education (Ministry of Labour and Public Services Health and Safety Association) – April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019
  • Phase 2: Ministry of Labour enforcement campaign – April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020

Pesce & Associates can assist you in ensuring you are compliant with all health and safety legislation. Please reach out to our Managing Partner, Elizabeth Hill at 416.491.1501 ext. 23 or ehill@pesceassociates.com to discuss how we can help you.

For more information on our services, please visit our website at www.pesceassociates.com.

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