health & safety WHILE HR LEADERS MAY
important for HR to play a key role in representing
workers, providing support for
safety concerns, coaching and providing
additional H&S training.
PREVENTING AND MANAGING
HEALTH AND SAFETY ISSUES
Recently, issues like workplace mental health,
workplace violence as well as responding
appropriately to aggressive behaviours are
becoming major concerns for Canadian employers.
The effects of all are costly to both
the worker and organization. Organizations
are asking: what needs to happen in the
workplace to successfully implement a program?
Where do you start to garner support
and inspire and unite workers in an attempt
to bring about meaningful change?
The first step is laying the foundation
for success in the area of physical
NOT NECESSARILY KNOW
THE INS AND OUTS OF
HEALTH AND SAFETY
FROM A TECHNICAL
PERSPECTIVE, THEY ARE
EXPECTED TO RESPOND
ACCORDINGLY TO HEALTH
AND SAFETY ISSUES
and psychological occupational H&S.
Identifying the risks, controlling the hazards
and ensuring workplaces have the
necessary tools to meet legislative requirements
are all part of aligning with the
work environment as well as the culture
and system within an organization. To
help workplaces embrace a participatory
approach to H&S, it is important to allow
people to come together to discuss the
cause or problem and work collaboratively
to devise strategies or methods for action.
There are many different approaches
that can be applied in the workplace. For
example, a tiered approach requires the
assignment of a “change team” to identify
and analyze relevant issues and propose,
implement or monitor potential solutions.
Training and education is then part of
the implementation process and will help
build capacity to tackle the issues.
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AS THEY ARISE.
WHY A SAFETY CULTURE?
Implementing a culture of H&S ultimately
means increased work satisfaction
combined with decreased absenteeism and
overtime. This means increased productivity
and quality of service.
The roadmap to success also requires
an effective H&S management system
at the top, which includes the following
■■ Leadership and commitment
■■ Hazard identification and risk
■■ Risk management and control
■■ Evaluation and corrective action
■■ Strategic review and continual
Once established, workplaces can begin
to fill gaps between knowledge and evidence
available across various sectors by
providing optimal solutions for managing
these types of issues in the workplace.
The responsibility for a safe and
healthy workplace falls on every person
in the workplace to the degree they
have the authority and ability to exercise
it. Through a participatory approach,
workplace parties become actively involved
in the recognition, assessment
and control of workplace issues. This
approach usually begins as a grassroots
movement that integrates H&S into
all aspects of work. Once it is embedded
into the core of business operations,
the participatory approach becomes the
norm, creating a greater sense of community
and an opportunity to shift
organizational safety culture. n
Kim Takata is manager, Human Resources
and Employee Relations at the Public
Services Health & Safety Association.
46 ❚ OCTOBER 2016 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL