Citations, penalties from inspectors reduce workplace injuries and improve QHSE

A recent study by the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto has found that workplace inspections resulting in citations and penalties for infractions have been key and effective in motivating employers to improve QHSE conditions, making workplaces much safer, and reducing the number of workplace injuries overall.
Published in June, the study concluded that when an OHS officer or labour inspector makes makes an order or issues a fine for an infraction, the workplace becomes safer. OHS officers have the authority to stop and shut down work-sites, ticket workers, and fine employers for non-compliance issues. The study suggests that to be effective, inspectors need to be in the field performing inspections and actively seeking out cases of non-compliance.
With large fines for each safety violation, construction companies and other workplaces are being forced to take workplace safety responsibilities more seriously, resist taking shortcuts, and be vigilant in attaining 100% compliance with safety regulations. Infractions violating health and safety regulations come with a heavy penalty, with serious injuries often resulting in fines around $50k, and fatalities costing greater than $100k.
Worksites here in Alberta have seen a larger amount of surprise safety inspections this summer, as a part of the province’s new plan to improve worksite safety culture by making sure employers and workers are meeting and exceeding safety regulations, and are avoiding taking shortcuts when it comes to health and safety.
The IWH study shows that workplace inspections are still critical to maintaining safety, and as technology continues to redefine safety processes, workplace safety will be best managed through a combination of frequent inspections and the use of EHS software such as iTrak Health and Safety Software to track and manage safety in the workplace. This combination of safety software and inspections will ensure that all safety processes are running efficiently and effectively, and critical metrics for employee safety information are being communicated throughout organizations.
This growing focus on safety inspections speak to Alberta’s commitment to improving health and safety at work-sites across the province. The inspections are a step in the right direction, reinforcing the idea that worksites must strive to make safety their top priority, but more still needs to be done to make sure that these work-site safety improvements aren’t just temporary. With EHS software solutions and incident management software such as iTrak, worksites can track safety information through forms and incident reports, automate QHSE/EHS processes, and create a continuously improving generative safety culture.
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