Taking the Next Step
Continuous improvement is the goal of any Occupational Health Safety Management System. View the additional resources the CCSA has for each element to assist with your continuous improvement. We gather and vet our resources from industry safety leaders across Alberta.
Element 1: Management Leadership and Organizational Commitment
Management commitment and leadership is the essential foundation for a successful occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS). Management and employees working cooperatively together is required for a health and safety system to succeed.
- Does your OHS Policy meet legislation?
- Do your job descriptions list OHS responsibilities?
- Do you have a schedule that covers all areas of your organization?
- Does your performance management process address safety performance?
- Do you have progressive discipline if employees don’t follow safety processes?
- Is safety part of all meetings?
- Does you organization have a plan for how to communicate any health and safety changes?
- How do leaders within your organization demonstrate to staff their commitment to health and safety?
Element 2: Hazard Assessment
A formal hazard assessment takes a close look at the overall operations of an organization to identify hazards, measure risk (to help prioritize hazards), and develop, implement and monitor related controls. Worker jobs or types of work are broken down into separate tasks. Formal hazard assessments are detailed, can involve many people, and will require time to complete.
A site-specific hazard assessment (also called field-level) is performed before work starts at a site and at a site where conditions change or when non-routine work is added. This flags hazards identified at the location (e.g. poor lighting, wet surfaces, extreme temperatures, unknown persons), or introduced by a change at the work site (e.g. unfamiliar chemicals, introduction of new equipment). Any hazards identified are to be eliminated or controlled right away, before work begins or continues.
Element 3: Hazard Control
If an identified hazard cannot be eliminated, controls are implemented to reduce the risk of the hazard. Implementation of hazard controls will result in the reduction of incidents. Three methods of control are: Engineering (i.e. elimination, substitution, guards, ventilation, sound barriers, etc.); Administrative (i.e. safe work practices, job procedures, job rotation, training, etc.); Personal Protective Equipment (i.e. eye protection, hearing protection, gloves, masks or face shields, etc.).
- Have you addressed creating a workplace free from violence and harassment?
- Does the Violence Prevention Plan (policy and procedure) meet legislation?
- Does the Harassment Prevention Plan (policy and procedure) meet legislation?
- How do employees report harassment and bullying?
- What is the process to investigate harassment and bullying incidents?
- What is the process to investigate violence incidents?
- How are staffs’ competency of the use of controls measured?
- Do you have a Preventive Maintenance Policy in place that ensures that equipment, vehicles, facilities, and tools are maintained in a manner that is safe?
- Does your Preventative Maintenance Checklist template meet best practice?
- Do you have a Maintenance Request Form for staff to report new issues?
Element 4: Health and Safety Committee and/or Representative
Joint Work Site Health and Safety Committees are a key element of the internal responsibility system. It brings work site parties together to work on topics such as hazard identification and control, investigation of health and safety incidents, and responding to reports of dangerous work. If the employer has 1-4 employees as determined through the audit scope, this element may be marked not applicable.
- Do you have a HSC policy or HSR policy?
- Does your HSC have a TOR that meets legislative compliance?
- Does your HSC ensure that they cover all health and safety issues as part of the meeting?
- Does your HSC have a method to self-evaluate its effectiveness?
- How does your HSC escalate concerns and make recommendations to the employer?
Element 5: Qualifications, Orientation and Training
Qualifications, orientations and training are essential to ensure employees perform their job tasks in a safe and healthy manner. An employer is responsible to ensure the employee is competent.
Element 6: Other Work Site Parties
Other employers, and/or self-employed persons, visitors, and external worksite parties must be included in the employer’s health and safety management system.
- Does your other work site parties policy meet legislation?
- Does your organization have a policy for monitoring the health and safety compliance of other work site parties?
- How does your organization monitor other work site parties?
- Does your organization have a non-compliance process for other work site parties?
- Do all work site parties that come to site receive a general orientation?
Element 7: Inspections
The formal inspection process can proactively identify new potential hazards, as well as confirm the effectiveness of controls already in place.
Element 8: Emergency Response
An emergency response plan helps ensure appropriate and efficient actions will take place in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Element 9: Incident Investigation
Investigations determine the cause(s) of an incident, and the corrective action(s) required to prevent a recurrence.
- Does your incident policy ensure all incidents are reported and investigated as indicated in legislation?
- Does your incident reporting form meet requirements set out in the OHS Code Part 11?
- How do employees report dangerous work?
- Does your investigation process address root cause?
- Following a significant situation is there a debriefing for staff?
Element 10: System Administration
System administration provides an evaluation of the overall effectiveness of the occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS).
- Is there a systematic process your organization uses to review the health and safety program?
- After a health and safety program review how are improvement plans made?
- Are health and safety activities such as incidents tracked to identify trends in your organization?
- How does your organization measure the safety culture within facilities and departments?
If you haven’t done so already, consider participation in the Partnerships in Injury Reduction program by achieving and maintaining a Certificate of Recognition (COR). Not sure where to start? Contact the CCSA COR Team to discuss the steps and/or to arrange for a baseline audit to determine your readiness for achieving COR.