Accidents in the workplace could be detrimental to any organization. It could affect operations and the livelihood of the employees. Recording and investigating incidents in the workplace could reduce or altogether eliminate similar accident from happening again. It is also a legal obligation— under the Canada Labour Code— to report accidents that cause harm.
Reporting Work-related Injuries
Employers are required to report serious injuries to the Labour Program within 24 hours. For all temporary and permanent disabling injuries, a written investigation which includes all the information required in the Hazardous Occurrence Investigation Report (Canada Occupational Safety and Health Regulations, Section 15.8) must be submitted.
When an injury or accident is reported, this ensures:
– Treatment is received as soon as possible
– The data helps in the thoroughness of the ensuing investigation
– Potential hazards are addressed
– Employees become aware of safety processes
The most practical way of managing hazards and accidents is through maintaining an up-to-date accident register. The register should contain the details of all accidents and a copy of each completed accident report form and all of these should feed into the company’s hazard management process.
It must also be encouraged to record ‘near-miss’ incidents— those instances where no one was actually hurt or became ill but the potential outcome would have been more serious. This way, risks are managed and workers are protected.
Health and Safety Management
The implementation of a health and safety management is valuable tool in protecting workers, with elements that aid in hazard identification to first aid training for employees.
A few options to improve internal health and safety practices:
- Get the cooperation of the employees to identify and report hazards, may it be serious or near-misses.
- Practice team-building exercises which include emergency response processes
- Ensure that at least one person in the workplace has first aid training. First aid kits must be properly equipped and easily accessible
- Maintain an updated record of emergency contact details per employee in their respective confidential files.
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