Chapter 10 - Occupational Health and Safety Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 10 - Occupational Health and Safety Deck (21)
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The total depletion of physical and mental resources caused by excessive striving to reach an unrealistic work-related goal.



due diligence

ER's responsibility regarding taking every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of their workers.



employee wellness program

A program that takes a proactive approach to EE health and well-being.

Aims to improve employees' health and reduce costs for:
- sickness and disability claims
- workers' compensation
- absenteeism




An interdisciplinary approach that seeks to integrate and accommodate the physical needs of workers into the design of jobs. It aims to adapt the entire job system (the work, environment, machines, equipment, and processes) to match human characteristics.



lost-time injury rate

Measures any occupational injury or illness resulting in an employee being unable to fulfill the job's full work assignments, not including any fatalities.


Definition and Purpose:

occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation

Laws intended to protect the health and safety of workers by minimizing work-related accidents and illnesses.

All jurisdictions have OHS legislation based on the principle of joint responsibility.
(both ee & er have responsibilities)



reasonable cause

A complaint about a workplace hazard has not been satisfactorily resolved, or a safety problem places employees in immediate danger.

Workers can not be disciplined for refusing to perform a task that would adversely affect their health and safety.



repetitive strain injuries (RSIs)

Activity-related soft-tissue injuries of the neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, hands, back, and legs.



Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System

A Canada-wide, legally mandated system designed to protect workers by providing information about hazardous materials in the workplace.

WHMIS requires labelling of hazardous material containers, material safety data sheets (MSDS), and employee training.


Three basic causes of accidents.
Three work-related contributing factors.

Basic causes of accidents:
1. chance occurrences (low)
2. unsafe conditions (main cause)
3. unsafe acts on part of ee's.

Work-related contributing factors:
1. the job itself
2. work schedule
3. psychological climate


Examples of wellness initiatives under an employee wellness program.

- physical fitness programs
- smoking cessation programs
- relaxation classes
- heart health monitoring


Approaches to preventing accidents.

1. Improve unsafe conditions:
- by identifying and removing potential hazards

2. Reduce the incidence of unsafe acts:
- through selection and placement,
- education and training,
- positive reinforcement,
- top-management commitment,
- monitoring work overload and stress
- instilling the desire to work safely into the workers.

If the supervisor does not take safety seriously, their subordinates will likely do the same.

Successfully reducing the incidence of unsafe acts by workers requires full commitment at all levels of management.


OHS joint responsibilities of employers and employees.

- maintaining the health and safety of workers
- participation on joint health and safety committees


OHS employer and supervisor responsibilities (in all jurisdictions).

Due diligence requirement - taking every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of their workers.

- ensuring that workplace polices are well communicated and adhered to by employees
- dealing with employees concerns in a safe and systematic manner

examples: Filing government accident reports, maintaining records, ensuring safety rules are enforced, posting safety notices and legislative info.


Establishing a defence of due diligence.

A recent provincial court decision suggests that
... employers must enforce safe work procedures through a progressive discipline process
... to establish a defence of due diligence
... when workers do not follow safety rules and are injured on the job.


OHS employee rights and responsibilities.

- to know about workplace safety hazards
- to participate in the OHS process
- to refuse unsafe work if they have "reasonable cause" to believe that the work is dangerous

- protecting their own health and safety and that of their co-workers


Three categories of laws under OHS legislation.

1. general health and safety rules
2. rules for specific industries (ex: mining)
3. rules related to specific hazards (ex: asbestos)

Some jurisdictions combine these into one overall law with regulations for specific industries and hazards. Some keep them separate.

Regulations are very complex and cover almost every conceivable hazard in great detail.

Provisions differ significantly across Canada but most jurisdictions have certain basic features in common. ex: EE/ER rights and responsibilities


Function of
Joint Health and Safety Committees

To provide a non-adversarial atmosphere in which management and labour can work together to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.

Committees are often more effective if the company's H&S manager acts as an independent expert rather than as a management representative.


Responsibilities of
Joint Health and Safety Committees

- making regular inspections of the workplace to identify potential health and safety hazards
- evaluate the hazards
- implement solutions
also responsible for:
- investigating employee complaints
- accident investigation
- development and promotion of measures to protect health and safety
- dissemination of information about health and safety laws and regulations.


Jurisdictional requirements for
Joint Health and Safety Committees

- most jurisdictions require a committee be established in each workplace with a minimum number of workers (usually 10 or 20)

- other jurisdictions, government has power to require committee to be formed.

- committees usually required to consist of between 2 and 12 members, at least half representing workers

- small workplaces may only require one health and safety representative.


Hazard control can be achieved by...

- addressing safety issues before an accident or injury happens
- identifying ways that a hazardous situation can be prevented from harming workers
- establishing procedures to ensure a potential hazard will not recur