1. REGULATORY ASPECT
From the outset, there is no choice, it is the law! At the federal level, the Canadian Labour Code stipulates at paragraph 125 (1) q): “to provide, in the prescribed manner, each employee with the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure their health and safety at work”.
In Quebec, the CNESST* governs and requires worker training. Article 51 of An Act Respecting Occupational Health and Safety states that the employer must take the necessary measures to protect the health and ensure the safety and physical well-being of his workers.
- Be advised of the risks incurred by their tasks and in their workplace
- Take advantage of the proper training in order to use the equipment
- Benefit from a training and appropriate supervision
Since March 2014 in Quebec, to strengthen these initiatives, the C-21 Act aims to make the company and the individuals accountable. Actually, Section 217.1 of the Criminal Code states that “every one who undertakes, or has the authority, to direct how another person does work or performs a task is under a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to that person, or any other person, arising from that work or task.” In other words, anyone in a position of authority can be covered by the Act and very heavy fines of more than $300,000 may be imposed. Also, it is also worth noting that in some cases, the offender may get a criminal record and even incarceration.
2. ECONOMIC ASPECT
Work-related accidents are very expensive. According to a recent study completed by “Human Resources and Skills Development Canada”, the workers’ compensation boards from different provinces have paid 7.67 billion dollars in compensations, for a total average of $24,845 for each new compensated lost-time accident or death.
Also, this study demonstrated that by taking into account the direct and indirect amounts, the total costs of work-related accidents for the Canadian economy are estimated to more than 19 billion dollars annually, hence the importance of investing in training and not view it as an expense.
Who bears the costs?
- The worker himself
- Wage loss
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- The employer
- Recruiting and training
- Medical expenses and compensation
- The community
- Taxes not collected on the income
- Unpaid contribution
3. HUMAN ASPECT
Beyond the laws and the economy, the human being remains at the core of the issue. The impact on the life of injured workers, and consequently their families, is difficult to evaluate because it includes psychological distress, loss of autonomy or loss of enjoyment of life, family life and responsibility, love life, sports and leisure and self-esteem. The list is long, painful, with serious consequences.
“Training can help avoid work-related accidents, and at SPI Health and Safety, our specialists are certified, experienced and capable of assessing your training needs,” confirms Pierre Jr. Gingras, Manager, Training Services - Working at Heights at SPI. “We strongly believe that training and the information provided to the employees are important, significant aspects leading to a safe work environment,” he adds.
FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE
SPI Health and Safety offers several quality training sessions on a wide range of topics related to occupational health and safety. These training sessions are provided by our team of experts and can be offered directly at your location, including the practical segments, with or without a simulator. You also have the opportunity to use our facilities, whether to participate in a public session or train your team in our training center dedicated to working at heights. Do not hesitate to visit our brand new website to learn more about our services. SPI Health and Safety, your partner to help you bring theory into practice!
- In Canada, falling from heights is one of the most important causes of death at work.
- In 2014, in Canada, more than 239,000 work-related accidents were recorded with more than 919 deaths.
- Quebec ranks first among all provinces with the most work-related accidents in 2014, for a total of 67,000, with 164 fatalities.
- In 2014, an increase of 10.3% due to falls with 13,697 accidents, with 14 fatalities.
- In 2013, in the construction sector: 700 falls in Quebec, with 3 fatalities.
*CNESST: In Québec, since January 1, 2016, the Commission des normes du travail (CNT), the Commission de l’équité salariale (CES) and the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST) are now combined into a single organization.