Canadian Manufacturing

OHS Canada: The art of due diligence in workplace safety: Don’t learn the ‘right’ way the ‘hard’ way

by Amanda Sharman   

OHS Canada
Human Resources Manufacturing Operations Infrastructure Public Sector compliance diligence OHS Canada Safety workplace safety

A signaller in Ontario was killed in an accident in 1997. The resulting legal case, from 2002 and available on CanLII, showed how courts interpreted health and safety legislation. Photo: Adobe Stock.

We have all experienced it: We hear something in the news or through the grapevine that send chills up our spines, and plants fear into our very cores.

A workplace incident or accident has occurred. A horrific and tragic sequence of events led to a terrible mishap, and a worker — or workers — have been injured. Or worse, have died. Perhaps all workers were thankfully safe but there is significant damage to property, the result of some freak event. Business owners everywhere shutter at the thought: “What if this happened to me?”

Employers spend time and resources making sure they are compliant in the law. The hassle associated with a visit from authorities that results in orders or fines is something they wish to avoid at all costs.

Compliance versus due diligence

It is expected that employers care about every single worker and want to do whatever it takes to keep them safe. However, the protection of workers is a byproduct of health and safety compliance, and only one of the reasons that a good health and safety program is important to a business. For employers, they also have a priority to mitigate the costs associated with injuries and illnesses, including loss of production, high turnover, and property damage.


This article originally featured in OHS Canada. Read the full version here.


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