What is an occupational health and safety (OH&S) program?
A health and safety program is a plan of action designed to prevent accidents and occupational diseases. Some form of a program is required under occupational health and safety legislation in most Canadian jurisdictions. A health and safety program must include the elements required by the health and safety legislation as a minimum.
Due diligence can be defined as “the care that a reasonable person exercises to avoid harm to other persons or their property.” To maintain a safe work environment, legislation must be followed and trained for accordingly for the safety of all those within the workplace.
What are elements of a safety program?
While organizations will have different needs and scope for specific elements required in their health and safety program, the following basic items should be considered in each case:
- Individual responsibility
- Joint occupational health and safety committee
- Health and safety rules
- Correct work procedures
- Employee orientation
- Workplace inspections
- Reporting and investigating accidents/incidents
- Emergency procedures
- Medical and first aid
- Health and safety promotion
- Workplace specific items