Safety in the Workplace Professionalism in the Work Environment Presented by Geoffrey White Occupational Health & Safety Coordinator August 3, 2004
Occupational Health & Safety Legislation - Overview Occupational Health & Safety Act and Regs • Act • Responsibilities: Employers: Supervisors; Employees • Identify and control Hazards • Joint Health & Safety Committees • Worker Rights • Right to refuse unsafe work; Right to know hazards; Right to participate • Regulations • (Industrial; Construction; Health Care); WHMIS; Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents + ……..
Occupational Health & Safety Legislation - Overview cont’d Workplace Safety & Insurance Act (WSIA) • Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) • Reporting Accidents • Entitlement to WSIB Benefits • Return to work requirements/process • First Aid Regulation Questions????
OHS Definitions Occupational Health & Safety Act Provides legislative framework for worker protection • Outlines general workplace requirements, responsibilities and fines (employers; supervisors; employees) • Provides coverage for workplaces in Ontario • Penalties/Fines for contraventions • Anyone - up to $25, 000 and/or 12 months in jail • Corporations up to $500, 000
OHS Definitions Regulations Applied under the Act • Specific requirements for procedures or equipment; chemicals (WHMIS); designated substances;First Aid; workplace conditions; protective equipment etc…
Definitions Continued Employer • Anyone who hires one or more workers. • Includes – Contractors, Subcontractors Supervisor • Person who has authority over a worker or is in charge of workplace • Typically have hiring/firing power Worker • Anyone who performs work for pay.
Definitions Continued Ministry of Labour Inspector • Enforce the Act and Regulations • Investigate complaints • Investigate critical injuries (places life in jeopardy; unconsciousness; substantial blood loss; fractured arm or leg; amputation or arm/hand/leg/foot); burns to major portion of body; loss of sight in an eye) Competent Person • A person who is qualified (knowledge,training or experience) to organize and perform work safely • Familiar with legislative requirements • Act & Regulations • Knowledgeable about hazards in workplace
Employer Responsibilities Continued Refer to sec 25 of the Act for complete list Employers required to: • Make sure proper equipment is used and in good condition • Protective devices, equipment and materials as prescribed • Provide instruction, training and supervision to protect H&S of worker • Take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker • The big hammer • Make sure first aid is given promptly
Supervisor Responsibilities Refer to sec 27 of the Act Supervisor must: • Ensure workers work in compliance with the Act and Regs • Ensure workers use or wear equipment, protective devices or clothing required by employer • Take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker • Provide written instruction where prescribed.
Employee Responsibilities • Know your rights and responsibilities under the OHS Act and Regulations • Use/wear any protective equipment required • E.g. hearing protection; protective gloves; safety glasses • Know proper procedures for any equipment to be used or process to be performed
Employee Responsibilities Cont’d • Ask for help if you don’t know how to use a particular piece of equipment or perform a particular task. • Report any unsafe conditions or broken/defective equipment to your supervisor • Report accidents immediately • Know emergency evacuation procedures • Know where first aid stations are located
Employee Responsibilities Cont’d • Know where the nearest fire extinguisher is located in your area and how to use one • Only operate equipment if authorized and trained. • Know the safety resources available to you: • Supervisor • Joint Health & Safety Committee • OHS Coordinator/Department • Ministry of Labour • WSIB
Joint Health & Safety Committees • Required in workplaces with twenty or more workers • At least 2 members for < 50 employees; at least 4 members for 50 or more employees • Mgt. and labour representatives (at least 50% must be non-mgt.) • Certified members (Mgt and Labour) – certified by WSIB (special training requirements)
Joint Health & Safety Committees Cont’d Typically have one JHSC per work location but may apply to Ministry for a multi-site committee • Advisory committee • Identify hazards and make recommendations to improve safety • Recommend practices, procedures and programs • Post member names and work locations
Joint Health & Safety Committees Cont’d • Workers selected by workers or trade unions • Meet at least x 3 months • Inspections • Physically inspect workplace at least monthly • Large workplaces • Develop a schedule to cover the entire workplace at least 1/yr.
Employee Rights Workers have 3 basic rights: • The Right to Know About hazards in the workplace • The Right Refuse Anyone (exceptions include – police; ambulance; fire or where refusal would directly endanger someone) can refuse to perform work if they believe they are endangered. • The Right to Participate Investigations, Inspections
Right to Know – Workplace Hazards Obviously to work safely, you must know what hazards you may be exposed to: Manually handling materials • Use proper lifting techniques • Use 2 hands to grab heavy materials • Keep the load close to your body • Keep you back straight • Lift with your legs….not your back! • Avoid awkward reaches • Ask for help with very heavy and/or large items • Safe Lifting Procedure available
Office Hazards Ergonomics • Esp. VDT workstations • Equipment layout • Reach distances, heights. work surfaces • Lighting, noise • Lifting Slips, trips and falls
Office Hazards Chemicals • Pipe systems/processes • Cleaning agents • Toners • Blueprint machines • Flammable/combustible liquids Indoor air quality • Temperature, RH, stale stuffy air; CO, CO2 • Mould
Workplace Hazards Continued WHMIS Regulation applies in respect to hazardous products used, stored and handled at a workplace. This is a far reaching regulation affecting virtually all employers • Glues/adhesives • Toners • Oils/Fuels • Cleaning agents • Paints • Lab operations • Compressed gases/aerosols • Retail outlets
Workplace Hazards Continued Violence in the workplace • Immediately report incidents to your supervisor. Tripping Hazards • Extension cords or other wires • Filing Cabinets • Beware of open drawers (you may bang into or trip over them. • Make sure cabinets are not top-heavy – low level drawers should be loaded first – with heavy items for stability. • Only open one drawer at a time (safety feature).
Workplace Hazards Continued Tripping Hazards Cont’d • Materials stored on floor • Chairs, boxes or other items • Wet/Slippery Surfaces • Wet floors – clean spills promptly or report to housekeeping Pushing/Pulling rolling stock (e.g. Carts) • Pushing is usually more safe than pulling • Use body weight to push • Can see where you’re going • Better control
Workplace Hazards Continued Cuts • Paper cuts (sheet paper; boxes; packaging) • Tools • Paper cutter (table-top unit) - keep free hand clear of blade • Small utility knives • Avoid pulling knife toward yourself – cut away from your body • Keep hands clear of blade • Make sure blade is sharp • Sharp edges on furniture/equipment/building surfaces
Workplace Hazards Continued Electrical • Do not use electrical equipment in wet conditions. • Caution around water/sinks • Make sure electrical cords are in good condition • Do not overload circuits • CSA approved equipment only.
Workplace Hazards Continued Video Display Terminals (abbr. VDTs) Ergonomic considerations • Avoid continued use for extended periods to allow your body (wrist/arms/eyes/back) to rest • Take short breaks (5 min/hr). • “Break” refers to doing something (another task perhaps) that uses other muscles/actions - It doesn’t necessarily have to be a total break.
Workplace Hazards Continued The key to VDT comfort is adjustability: Chair: Allow feet to sit flat on floor; armrests should be just below elbow height Monitor: Top of screen should be just below eye level (when sitting on a chair) Keyboard:At elbow height. Do not rest arms/wrists on edge. Mouse: Close to body – avoid awkward reaches. Place on same surface as keyboard.
Fire Safety Review the fire safety procedure at your work location. Know the alarm system – Single or Two-Stage • Single Stage (one alarm only) • Evacuate when alarm sounds • 2-Stage (two different alarms) • First alarm (intermittent) means----be prepared to evacuate, wait for instructions • Second alarm (constant) - Evacuate • Know your escape routes
Overview Ontario WHMIS Regulation (O.Reg 860) applies to: • Employers and workers in respect of controlled products used, stored and handled at a workplace • Far reaching regulation that applies to virtually all workplaces Three components of WHMIS: • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) • Labels • Training
Roles and Responsibilities Suppliers Must evaluate/determine whether their products are classified as a “controlled” product. • Criteria under the Hazardous Products Act – very technical • There are several exemptions to WHMIS • Consumer products • Explosives (has its own Act and Regulations) • Tobacco Products • Food, Drugs and Cosmetics (Food and Drug Act/Regs) • Radiation (has its own specific Act and Regulations) • Wood or products made of wood • Manufactured articles • Hazardous waste
Suppliers Cont’d • Must ensure products are classified properly (governed by Hazardous Products Act and Regulations) • Must ensure products are properly labeled • Must provide material safety data sheets
Suppliers Cont’d Several Classifications for Controlled Products • Compressed Gases • Flammable and Combustible Material • Oxidizing Materials • Poisonous and Infections Materials • Immediate and Serious • Other Toxic Effects • Biohazardous Infectious • Corrosive • Dangerously Reactive
Employers • Must ensure products are properly labeled • Must ensure material safety data sheets are available • Must ensure workers are educated
Worker Education Workers who work with or in proximity to a controlled product must receive training.
WHMIS SYMBOLS Symbol format is regulated
Class D: Poisonous and Infectious Materials Class D1 - Immediately and Serious Toxic Effects
Class D: Poisonous and Infectious Materials Class D2 - Other Toxic Effects
Class D: Poisonous and Infectious Materials Class D3 - Biohazardous and Infectious
Class E Corrosives
Material Safety Data Sheets • Material Safety Data Sheets are required for all hazardous substances. • Valid for 3 years • They contain technical product- specific information for hazardous products. • At least 9 sections of information required
MSDS Cont’d • Product Information (Product Name; Supplier, Manufacturer) • Hazardous Ingredients (concentration/toxicity) • Physical Data (solid/liquid/gas….) • Fire or Explosion Hazard (conditions for ignition/explosion) • Reactivity Data (stability/ other chemicals..) • Toxicological Properties (short and long-term effects.) • Preventive Measures (ventilation, ppe; emergency measures) • First Aid (treatment for overexposed individuals - all routes of exposure) • Preparation Information (Name, date and contact number(s) for person or group who prepared the msds)
WHMIS Labels • Product Name • Hazard Symbols • Refer to Material Safety Data Sheet Labels are required on essentially all containers of controlled product.
WHMIS Labels Cont’d • Cross hatched border • Hazard Symbols • Risk Phrase • Precautionary Measures • Supplier name
Workers Right To Refuse Unsafe Work • One of the basic worker rights under the OHS Act is the Right to Refuse Unsafe Work. The process is straightforward and is illustrated in the following flow chart: • Worker must remain in a safe place during the investigation but can be assigned other work until refusal resolved • Workers cannot be penalized for exercising their right to refuse.
Worker Identifies unsafe act or condition Supervisor, Safety Rep and worker investigate Issue Resolved Parties agree Second Stage Refusal: Ministry of Labour Contacted No Yes Worker returns to work Work Refusal Procedure Immediately notify your supervisor and Safety representative