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2 Manitoba Businesses Fined for Workplace Safety Violations

On May 24, 2012 Jacobson & Grenier Ltd. was fined $36,050.00 for failing to:

  • ensure any machine or tool in the workplace is capable of safety performing the functions for which it is use with: cutting plywood on Altendorf Table Saw
  • A kickback severed 4 fingers of a workers right hand while cutting a piece of wood.

On May 24, 2012 Atom-Jet Industries 2002 Ltd. was fined $42,050.00 for failing to:

  • ensure that a B5M Boot Plate Press with a two hand activation system was safe and without risks to health
  • A worker suffered 3 broken fingers on his left hand with a partial amputation and substantial loss of skin, and one broken finger on his right hand as a result of the worker reaching into the press to pull out a boot plate as the press activated. 

Are Your Employees and Your Company Protected?

  1.  Do you have a formal (documented) method for on-going identification, communication and control of hazards?
  2. Are supervisors held accountable for conducting regular inspections of their work area, work processes, equipment and tools?  Note: these inspections should be in addition to inspections conducted by the WSH Committee or Rep. 
  3. Do management and supervisors enforce safety and health requirements in your workplace? Is it documented? IF you answered NO to any of these questions, your business is at risk to Workplace Safety and Health Loss and Liability.  

For help prioritizing and controlling your workplace safety risks, contact me for a FREE 90 minute no obligation consultation… I can help you!

How to Raise the Performance of Employees and the Value of your Business at the Same

Highly skilled employees are both limited and a premium in the market place. What if there was a way to raise the performance of your employees, would you be interested? The GOOD NEWS is…there is! “Great businesses are not built by extraordinary people, but by ordinary people doing extraordinary things.  But for ordinary people to do extraordinary things, a system – “a way of doing things” – is absolutely essential in order to compensate for the disparity between the skills your people have and the skills your business needs if it is to produce consistent results” - The E-Myth, Why Most Small Business Don’t Work and What to Do About It Here’s what high performing companies do:

  • The business owners work ON THEIR BUSINESS not IN IT
  • They create SYSTEMS through which good employees produce extraordinary results.

A critical element of any good system is Standard Operating Procedures that outline in writing the exact steps an employee must take to produce a consistent business result time after time. Standard Operating Procedures = Safe Work Procedures = how the job or task must be performed to get the desired result efficiently.

  • i.e.: No employee injury, property damage, defects requiring rework and other avoidable loss such as lost production time.

5 REASONS TO EMBRACE SAFE WORK PROCEDURES IN WRITING IN YOUR BUSINESS. Effective Safe Work Procedures in writing will:

  1. Allow good employees to produce excellent high quality results by creating standards that clearly outline how jobs are to be completed.
  2. Create a training tool and standard so that the business owner does not have to do all the training.  Another employee can train workers to your standard AND all employees will be trained and working in the same way, producing greater efficiency and profitability.
  3. Allow you to effectively hold employees accountable to the standard that you have set; it may even help avoid a human rights claim.
  4. Systemize your business, giving you more time to work ON YOUR BUSINESS, creating more freedom to operate and greater bottom line results.
  5. Help you avoid Workplace Safety and Health fines of up to $250,000, stop work orders, publishing of your company’s poor safety record in the event of a serious incident.  The majority of Workplace Safety and Health related fines are due to failure to develop, train or enforce the use of Safe Work Procedures. Excellent Companies know:
  • FAST is SLOW and SLOW is FAST; take time to develop Standard Operating Procedures in writing NOW, it will SAVE YOU TIME AND MONEY in the long run.
  • Standard Operating Procedures (AKA Safe Work Practices) are imperative to raise the performance of employees and the bottom line of your business.

Would you like access to 100′s of Safe Work Practices developed by safety professionals specifically for Manitoba Legislation? Contact us for a FREE NO OBLIGATION demonstration of mySafetyAssistant.ca. As a bonus, we’ll GIVE YOU 3 TOP Safe Work Practices to use in your business.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS REQUIREMENTS FOR COR

Just like most other COR requirements, your Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP) should ensure that your business returns to “normal” working operations as soon as possible after an emergency. When it comes to your COR Audit, you must be able to verify through documentation (policies and procedures), worksite observations and employee interviews that it contains critical elements such as:

1. Written response plans for emergencies that can realistically be expected in your workplace such as:

a) Fire and  / or explosion

b) Medical and traumatic injuries

c) Chemical spills

d) Fall rescue

e) Confined space rescue

f) Severe weather etc.

2. Fire Response Planning; you must have a written fire response plan which may be included in the emergency response plan, or developed separately. The correct class and type of extinguishers must be sufficiently marked and visible in all work areas. The auditor will review documentation (on files and on tags) for fire extinguisher recharge, purchases or inspections conducted. Fire extinguishers should be inspected and recorded monthly. Extinguishers should be subjected to maintenance every 12 months.

3. Worker Training; Your EPP must include evidence that workers understand their responsibilities and have been:

a) Orientated to the EPP

b) Trained on emergency equipment and procedures such as fire extinguishers

4. EPP Testing; You must have records to verify that your company’s emergency plans have been tested including what corrective actions were taken to correct deficiencies.

5. Other requirements include ensuring that:

a) employees have adequate means to contact emergency personnel

b) emergency phone numbers have are posted or are readily available at each work location

c) first aid facilities are adequate for the size/type of operation in accordance with Legislation

d) first aiders are identified to all employees on site

e) there is a means of transporting an injured worker available at all times

For help with written policies and procedures and help establishing or maintaining COR, contact 1Life Workplace Safety & Health at 1-866-223-7374. Bison Fire LogoFor help with your Fire Response Planning and Fire Extinguisher Training contact the professionals at Bison Fire Protection Inc., at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or on our website www.bisonfire.com

 

New Mental Health Standard Holds Key to Common Business Dilemma

All Manitoba business owners face similar challenges when it comes to productivity and competitiveness in today’s marketplace such as attracting and retaining the best employees, reducing employee absenteeism to optimize production and maximizing profitability.

It may be a surprise to many business owners to know that the recent announcement of CSA’s new National Standard for Physiological Health and Safety in the Workplace holds a major key in meeting these objectives.  CAN/CSA-Z1003-13/BNQ 9700-803/2013 provides a framework for the development and implementation of a psychological health and safety management system.  The requirements of the voluntary standard include elements such as leadership commitment and employee participation, planning including risk assessment and control measures, implementation, evaluation, corrective action and management review.

Theo Heineman, President of 1Life Workplace, Safety & Health says  "we’ve seen firsthand that our clients who support employees physical and mental health  prove time and again to experience benefits such as fewer WCB and employee benefits claims, less absenteeism, improved productivity,  increased moral and employee retention to name a few”.

Studies from The Canadian Institute of Stress - Bell Canada Operator Services research back up this statement.  Their research found that mental health / stress control programs have resulted in 18% reduction in absences, 32% reduction in grievances, 52% reduction in disability time, 7% improvement in productivity, 13% improvement in service quality.

In studies conducted by B.C. Hydro and Canada Life Insurance, the Cost/Benefit Analysis of Mental Health / Stress Control Programs in the Workplace ratio ranges from $1.15-$6.00 returned for every dollar invested. And then there is the affect of mental health on workplace accidents.  Research conducted by the Canadian Policy Research Organization shows that emotional and psychological job demands have shown to create 2.5 times the risk of workplace accidents.  Mental health issues such as stress have shown to contribute to 60% of workplace incidents.

“With reverse onus on all Manitoba Employers when a worker is injured on the job and penalties such as stop work orders and fines up to $250,000 per offence, accident prevention should be top of mind with every business owner who is committed to organizational excellence and sustainability” says Theo.

With mental health becoming the fastest rising disability claim, promotion of mental health and workplace wellness is not only good for workers, it’s great for business.

About Theo Heineman Theo the founder and CEO of 1Life Workplace Safety and Health Ltd and is widely recognized as a leader and expert in both business and Safety Management Systems. She is a Board Certified Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP), and Certified Safety and Health Consultant (Canadian Society of Safety Engineers).  Theo has served as an instructor for Red River Community College, Occupational Safety and Health Certificate Program and sits on the Manitoba Workers Compensation Board (WCB) Future State of Injury Prevention Stakeholder Advisory Committee.

About 1Life Workplace Safety & Health Ltd. 1Life Workplace Safety & Health specializes in providing integrated, full-service workplace safety and health solutions to support Manitoba businesses in creating safer work environments, increasing profitability and meeting the requirements of workplace safety and health legislation.  The advantages for their clients go beyond attaining legal compliance under the Manitoba Workplace Safety & Health Act & Regulations; reductions in loss along with improvements in productivity and quality result in healthier employees and more profitable and sustainable businesses. For further information, visit our website at www.1lifeworkplacesafety.com or www.theoheineman.ca/.

Do You Think Safety Training is Expensive? Consider the Cost of Not Training Your Supervisors!

A common gap in many organizations is a failure to train supervisors, foremen, team leaders, or anyone else who may direct the work of employees. It is given that employers appoint managers and supervisors to ensure that work is carried out so that the objectives of organization are met. For this reason Supervisors have clearly defined responsibilities under the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Act and can be held personally responsible…..but not until they have been trained. If an “accident” occurred today, however supervisors had not been trained, then it stands to reason that they should not be held liable. Instead liability will leapfrog up to the employer.

June 2006 A Supervisor, working for Borland construction was fined $11,500 for failing to ensure a worker working under his supervision complied with the Workplace Safety and Health Act and Regulation. Borland Construction was fined $46,000 for the same incident.

November 2006 Caspian Construction was fined $57,000 for failure to ensure that all the employers workers were supervised by a person who was competent, because of knowledge, training or experience to ensure work was performed in a safe manner.

January 2008 R&M Plumbing & Heating Ltd fined $12,000 for failing to ensure that his supervisor was aware of the limited scope of his employee's skill.

May 2008 Tolko Industries Ltd fined $46,500 for failure to adequately train supervisors.

January 2009 A Brandon Prime Contractor was fined $24,000 for failing to ensure that a sub-contractor had competent supervision for all its workers so that scaffolding was erected safely.


What must your Supervisors need to be able to do?

  • - Take the necessary precautions to protect the safety and health of workers under their supervision.
  • - Ensure that workers comply with safe work procedures.
  • - Advise workers of safety and health hazards in their work area.
  • - Enforce safe work and use disciplinary action where necessary.

What should be in your Supervisor Training Plan? Supervisors have an important role to play in preventing workplace injuries and illnesses, therefore they must be trained to fulfil that role. Supervisors need all of the instruction given to workers, plus the following training: Relevant elements of your workplace safety and health program, including their roles and responsibilities for:

  • - Hazard identification, assessment and control.
  • - Conducting workplace inspections.
  • - Use, care and limitations of personal protective equipment.
  • - Requirements for worker training, competency, enforcement of safe work and disciplinary action.
  • - Coaching and motivation.
  • - Applicable sections of the WSH Act and regulations.
  • - Any other matters necessary to ensure the safety and health of workers under their direction.

In determining whether a defence of "due diligence" is valid, a judge or jury considers three main factors:

  • Foreseeability - could a reasonable person have foreseen that something could go wrong?
  • Prevent-ability - was there an opportunity to prevent the incident?
  • Control - who was the responsible person present who could have prevented the incident?

REMEMBER: If the training wasn't documented, it didn't happen.



Do you have gaps in your Supervisor Training?

Do you need Supervisor training delivered at your workplace?

Contact us at 204-231-5433 (LIFE), we can help YOU!

mySafetyTraining.ca can make training your staff simpler and easier - plus you can try for free!

Call 204-231-5433 (life) or goto mySafetyTraining.ca

Theo's company and passion are an asset to any business.

Mike Gordon
Foreman, Birchwood Honda Center