When it comes to the cost of an incident in the workplace, many people think about their assessment rates going up and the possible fines they might face. Often, the only consideration is medical and insurance costs, but the cost of a safety incident in the workplace can be much more significant.
Your occupational health and safety program
An occupational health and safety program – also known as an OHS program – is a way to help you manage your health and safety needs in the workplace to prevent worker injury and illness, damage to your facilities and adjacent properties, and the environment.
Owner/operators, workers, and contractors working at your site are responsible for their health and safety and the health and safety of each other at your place of work.
Why have an OHS program?
When an accident or incident occurs that results in injury or illness to your workers or damage to your property it can have a significant impact on your business. Incidents can increase your financial liability and insurance premiums substantially.
Injury, illness, and property damage incidents cost you time and money for investigations, production downtime, equipment replacement, worker overtime, and worker training or re-training.
Additionally, the human cost of injury or illness is significant. Workplace injuries and illness profoundly impact workers and their families and can have long-lasting implications.
Every province in Canada – and in many jurisdictions around the world – has legal requirements for the development of occupational health and safety programs in the workplace.
In British Columbia, employers with more than 50 workers must have a formal occupational health and safety program. Additionally, workplaces with more than twenty workers who are exposed to moderate or high risk must also have an OHS program.
Elements of a health and safety program
An effective health and safety program must include:
- Health and safety policy
- Risk assessment and controls to mitigate risk
- Emergency response plan
- Procedures and schedule for worksite inspections
- Safe work procedures for activities at the worksite
- Health and safety orientation and training for workers
- Process for investigating an incident or injury
- Worker participation in worksite health and safety
Small Employer Program Building
Build a successful occupational health and safety program with our Small Employer Program Building e-course. Take the self-directed course online, at your own pace.