What is a health and safety program?
A health and safety program is a plan of action designed to keep people healthy and safe at work. An effective program is proactive and helps to prevent accidents, injuries, and diseases. An effective program will also:
Identify and control hazards;
Limit a company’s financial losses resulting from accidents, injuries, and diseases;
Promote a positive culture of safety and health;
Outline guidelines and terms of reference for workplace inspections, safe work procedures, meeting requirements, policy review, and more;
Include sub-programs and spark healthy conversations around safety issues pertinent to your workplace.
Why is it important?
A health and safety program is essential for lots of reasons:
It keeps all people within the workplace (workers, employers, contractors, customers, clients) healthy and safe so they can continue to work, earn an income, access services, purchase goods, etc.
It’s the law! A compliant program helps to protect the workplace and those within it from legal or financial troubles that can come from non-compliance.
It helps you prepare in advance for cases of crises or emergency. This can dramatically decrease the injury, loss, and financial hardship that may come from these situations.
It holds everyone accountable! A well-outlined program keeps you and your team on track throughout the year so you are up-to-date and keeping health and safety a top priority in your workplace, rather than an afterthought.
Who needs a health and safety program?
It’s best practice for all workplaces to have a health and safety program, but they’re legislatively required for businesses that employ 6 or more workers.
Regardless of workplace size (even for those of you with fewer than 6 workers), all employers are required to:
Do everything they reasonably can to protect their workers in each situation;
Inform, instruct, and supervise workers to protect their health and safety;
Make sure that every worker and supervisor takes the required training, including basic occupational health and safety awareness training, and keep records of that training; and
Make sure workers know their rights by posting a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Health & Safety at Work: Prevention Starts Here poster.
Have more than 19 workers? There are different requirements for your workplace, such as developing a Joint Health and Safety Committee and having certified members.
Need help developing your workplace health and safety program? Book a discovery call or stay tuned for our downloadable do-it-yourself guide coming soon!