According to the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation in BC, it’s the employer’s responsibility to implement an occupational health and safety (OHS) program to prevent employee workplace injury and disease. OHS programs in British Columbia BC must meet certain safety standards. The employer must exercise due diligence in taking steps to meet those standards.
You must have a 'formal' health and safety program if you have either a workforce of 20 or more workers and at least one workplace where there is a moderate or high risk of injury and when you have a workforce of 50 or more workers. Small businesses or employers with fewer than 20 workers need a health and safety program too. These programs can be simpler. We refer to them as "informal" health and safety programs.
Health and safety programs in BC are aimed at ensuring workers are protected, risks are minimized, and a healthy and safe workplace is maintained. All employers must establish some form of health and safety program at the workplace. The type of program you need depends on the number of workers you have and the risks associated with their work. Though every workplace and every occupational health and safety (OHS) program are different, there are some key elements common to all programs.
Active Health & Safety Management
Active health and safety management in BC is an essential first step toward improving your organization's health and safety culture. There are two aspects of managing health and safety performance for continual improvement:
An active health and safety management approach encompasses the health and safety program approach and builds upon it.
Standards for Active Health & Safety Management
The two aspects of actively managing health and safety, mentioned above, are combined in the framework of occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) canadian standards such as CSA Z1000-14.
OHSMS standards outline the principles and processes to follow for continual health and safety improvement. OHSMS standards can be applied to any industry. They do not make reference to specific hazards, but they indicate the need for specific health and safety processes and proactive management processes.
Within these standards are components of an effective health and safety program, including:
Adopting an OHSMS standard for your organization is voluntary, but it is very beneficial. Using these standards of active health and safety management can steer you towards best practice. Actively managing health and safety is a key step to improving your organization's health and safety culture.