Monday, January 16, 2012

Occupational Health and Safety: Your Thoughts?

                The Ontario government seems to release changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act more often than even the most astute followers of this legislation can keep up with and certainly faster than most business owners can or even care to keep up on. I sometimes wonder if these changes are a) necessary b) valuable and c) followed. What I’ve gathered is that most small business owners give only a fleeting thought to the Health and Safety laws in Canada and it’s not because they don’t care about the objectives set forth in the legislation or the safety and welfare of their employees. In fact in most cases I’ve seen the opposite; most employers are good, morale people who would hate to see anyone seriously injured or in the worst case scenario die on the job but really just don’t see the need for the in depth policy and procedure stipulations set forth in the OHSA. There are many reasons these laws aren’t followed to the letter. A couple common reasons are that, “I’ve never had a serious injury before and if one ever does occur I’ll deal with it then” OR, “my salespeople/office workers aren’t in danger and imposing these laws and rules are time consuming and costly, besides MOL inspectors are rarely around and I’ve told everyone here to work safely”. My questions are - how seriously do you take the OHSA? Do you feel it actually protects workers from injury? Is it an easy enough to implement in your workplace? Do you think the government provides enough resources for you to follow the OHSA or do you think outside help from H&S specialists or HR professionals would be beneficial?

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