Will You Be Ready?
These are just a few of the target areas for the Ministry of Labour.
- New and Young Workers, Vulnerable Workers (May –August)
- Employment Standards (May –August)
- Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) and Fall Hazards (Sept –Oct)
- Warehousing (Feb – March. 2014)
What if the Ministry of Labour dropped in to your company and asked employees randomly:
1. If they understood their rights and responsibilities and had been informed of the potential hazards of the work they were doing, would they understand the question, what would they say?
Do your permanent employees or the Temporary Labour Staffing employees you are using, have sufficient English to understand their Health and Safety Rights and Responsibilities? It is your responsibility to ensure they DO understand, and if not, then the training must be done in the language that they do understand. Do you have signed proof of the training?
2. During the Employment Standards blitz, what would they find if they randomly asked employees if they are being paid cash or by paycheck/Direct deposit ? If you are using a Staffing Agency, do you know the answer; have you randomly checked with the employees?
If you are using a Staffing Agency you need to practice Due Diligence and ensure the employees are legal and being paid according to Canadian law. If they are being paid cash, you could also be in trouble, and liable for their unpaid WSIB premiums for the portion of work done at your site. It is your business to check.
3. If MOL were to request a summary of all your MSD Musculoskeletal Disorders claims would you have it ready and be able to explain what action you have taken to assess why the injuries are happening and measures taken to prevent them?
If you have employees working at heights, have you trained employees who use ladders on ladder safety? Have you ensured all employees working 3 meters or more are trained in fall protection equipment use, and that management ENSURE that the equipment is worn and hooked on? What proof do you have?
4. If MOL were to spot check if trailers were secured/chocked and lift operators were competent (certified), wearing their seatbelt etc, what would they find?
Warehousing has been hit the hardest with WSIB premiums going up 18.2 % in 2010 and again another 2.5 % this year. Are all your lift operators competent/are they certified? Have you performed an 18 month check on their performance? Do your management ENSURE they wear the seatbelt and ensure trailers are chocked/secured before entering?