Most New Year’s resolutions are dedicated to improving our personal lives. We want to lose weight, reduce debt, spend more time with family, etc. All are wonderful commitments that are worth your time and energy. Have you ever considered adding a workplace New Year’s resolution to your list?
Improving workplace safety is the perfect place to start. Canadians spend 20 per cent of their week at work, but the biggest reason to stay safe in the workplace is to continue to enjoy the things we do outside of work – spending time with our family and friends.
Canada has improved its workplace health and safety record over the last 25 years, including updating legislation, but more can be done. What’s more, the safer the workplace, the less employers pay. Employers with low lost-time injury rates often see improved productivity and efficiency, and can earn considerable discounts on their workplace insurance premiums. Workplace Health and Safety has its benefits, but none are more important than providing employees and their families with a safe environment. One area that is easy to improve is in employee training. Studies show there are 30 per cent less accidents in the workplace when the majority of employees have first aid training.
A nifty and easy to use tool is the Workers Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) Workwell Core Health and Safety Audit, which is available online here.
This resource is used by WSIB auditors when performing workplace audits. However, it can be used by any employer to logically and systematically review their health and safety program. The guide is broken up into 12 easy to follow sections that outline employer and employee obligations and provides a point score for each requirement that is met. The first step is reviewing Policy Statements followed by Responsibilities, Posted Materials, Standards & Procedures, Reps/Committees, Education and Training, First Aid, Inspections, Preventative Maintenance, Incident Investigations, Senior Management and ends with the Early and Safe Return to Work.
The minimum standard to meet is a score of 75%. Determine your health and safety score and issue a corporate challenge to improve it by assigning the Workwell Audit review to the manager in charge of your health and safety program. Not only is it a great New Year’s resolution, it’s perfect to add to employees’ goals and objectives for 2015.
Dianne Rende is the Executive Director of St. John Ambulance, Peel Dufferin Branch. As Canada’s leading authority in first aid, St. John Ambulance is dedicated to improving health and safety at work, at home and at play. Dianne can be reached by email at [email protected] or for more information visit www.sja.ca.