8 Workplace Safety Requirements to Consider As a Solo PractitionerAs business owners, solo practitioners have the responsibility to establish a system that identifies risk management issues and to create guidelines and processes to ensure a safe and healthy work environment.
What an exciting time when we venture out and open our own business! The experience is full of unique learning curves and successes not to mention the associated costs, such as legal paperwork, branding, and advertising, finding a suitable location, maybe hiring staff, and managing the daily activities. The list is lengthy and unique to our own company and part of the process in our journey towards business growth and success.
One step that is often overlooked with new and established businesses, is occupational health and safety and employer responsibilities for a safe working environment.
What are my Responsibilities?
As an owner/employer, you have the responsibility to provide a safe and healthy workplace not only for you and your clients but for those who work with you. The Workers Compensation Act (law) and Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (OHS Regulation) outline the rights and responsibilities of all workplace parties including owners, employers, supervisors, workers and prime contractors. WorkSafe BC (Getting started (the Basics) 2016, following occupational health and safety regulation, expands on responsibilities to developing and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace and include the following eight basic requirements:
- Know about the Rights and Responsibilities for Health and Safety
- Develop a Health and Safety Program
- Manage Risk in the Workplace
- Perform Regular Workplace Inspections
- Ensure workers are trained and Oriented
- Establish and maintain a Joint Health and Safety Committee
- Investigate and Report Incidents
- Meet First Aid Requirements
How to Demonstrate Your Commitment to these responsibilities?
In summary, we all have a part to play in maintaining a safe and healthy workplace. For employers, taking the time to understand the roles, rights, and responsibilities of those involved in your company’s work activities is one step in Occupational Health and Safety Regulation compliance, even if you are a solo practitioner. It is essential that as a business owner, you explore the ways your company can engage on health and safety activities in your workplace and develop and implement a safety management system that captures continual improvement and regulatory requirements. Having this foundation that prioritizes a safe and healthy workplace not only supports and demonstrates your commitment to safety and good business practices as an employer, but also help you meet professional obligations.
About the Author
Programs Director, The Safe Way – Workplace Safety and Human Resource Corporation
Margo is a solutions and values-based safety consultant and Director of Programs with The Safe Way – Workplace Safety and Human Resources Corporation. Her safety company’s vision is to ensure safe work behaviours and environments for all workers, including the continuing care sector.
She excels at helping business owners establish a system to identify risk management issues, employment standards; Worksafe requirements, and much more.
Her method of approach is what sets her apart; she coaches, motivates, and builds relationships that promote safety culture and mitigate risk. She collaborates with solo practitioners creating safety policies and procedures that fit company needs and meet regulatory compliance. For the solo practitioner, these deliverables save money, provide peace of mind, and more time to focus on business and client needs.
To learn more about Margo and how she can help your business, please visit her website at www.thesafeway.ca
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