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Winning conditions in occupational health and safety

The success of effective occupational health and safety management in a company is based on 5 winning conditions:

  • the commitment and support of senior management
  • worker participation
  • the occupational health and safety responsibilities of workers and employers
  • the organization of prevention
  • the evaluation of the company’s occupational health and safety performance

Educational institutions

Educational institutions must put a sixth winning condition in place: the integration of occupational health and safety into student training.

Winning conditions

The implementation of these winning conditions makes it possible to determine the level of occupational health and safety management.

Commitment and support of senior management

Senior management must:

  • actively commit to and demonstrate an interest in integrating health and safety into all company activities
  • be consistent in taking concrete actions such as setting an example or being present during daily operations
  • take the health and safety of workers into account by:
    • informing them of the risks
    • promoting prevention activities
    • encouraging initiatives

For example, senior management’s commitment can be translated into an occupational health and safety policy. The policy must be posted, known to all and integrated into the company’s routine operations.

The Certificat d'engagement en santé et en sécurité du travail sets out the occupational health and safety commitments the employer undertakes to meet. To further reflect the employer’s reality, they may even add other commitments that are not already included on the certificate.

Worker participation

Workers actively participate in the activities while complying with safety procedures and health and safety rules. The company implements activities that allows workers to be involved in identifying hazards and suggesting corrective measures and ensures they are given the resources and time needed to do so. It also provides the means for workers to be listened to and heard when it comes to health and safety issues. For example, suggestion boxes or the inclusion of occupational health and safety topics during production meetings.

Establishing an occupational health and safety committee, which brings together employer and worker representatives, is another way to achieve this winning condition.

Responsibilities of workers and employers

Everyone has a role to play in managing occupational health and safety in the company.

Health and safety responsibilities must be clearly defined, known to all staff and included in everyone's job descriptions.

Employers must ensure that their workers are aware of them and apply them in their day-to-day activities.

Each person must find out about and comply with their rights and obligations (in French only) with respect to occupational health and safety.

Organization of prevention

The employer, in collaboration with the workers, must develop and implement a prevention program and present it to all their staff for their consideration. Employers must train their workers to make sure they are aware of the hazards in the workplace and can perform their work safely.

Other measures to be implemented in the workplace include:

  • identifying, analyzing and prioritizing hazards
  • taking corrective measures to eliminate hazards
  • implementing controls (to ensure corrective measures are permanent)
  • an annual update of the prevention program
  • investigating accidents and incidents
  • keeping a register of all accidents or incidents
  • training first aiders and making comprehensive first aid kits available
  • an intake and integration program for new workers
  • the application of an emergency response plan

Evaluation of the company's occupational health and safety performance

To evaluate the company's performance, management must conduct an evaluation at least annually and communicate the results to all its workers. It is also necessary to take stock of the implementation of the prevention program, the activities of the health and safety committee and prevention activities.

Finally, management must track accidents and incidents and take into account the management of accident and return-to-work files.

Integration of occupational health and safety into student training

This condition applies only to educational institutions. The educational institution must:

  • comply with occupational health and safety regulations and standards for:
    • the training environment
    • equipment
    • materials
  • adopt best practices in occupational health and safety in its training environment
  • share knowledge on prevention and integrate it into training as students learn the trade
  • assess mastery of knowledge and recommended practices during training
  • ensure, through concrete means, that the practical training environment complies with recognized occupational health and safety standards and regulations

Students must follow safe work methods and be able to identify hazards.

Levels of management

There are 4 levels of management in the Framework (in French only):

  1. Management focused on routine activities: we do not worry about doing prevention unless we are obliged to.
  2. Reactive management: prevention is considered “after the fact”, for example, after an accident. We react to events. Everything is informal and verbal.
  3. Proactive management: we start putting things in writing to ensure control and maintenance over time.
  4. Preventive management: prevention becomes a value and is integrated into the functioning of the organization.

The minimum level to be achieved for effective management is the proactive management level.

Preventive management ensures effective management in the workplace on a permanent basis.

In a perspective of continuous improvement, the company must find ways to improve their management of prevention and reach the highest level. A company can be at different levels depending on the winning condition.

For example, a company that is starting out in prevention will not be able to implement everything overnight. For continuous improvement, it must set objectives and put winning conditions in place to advance in management levels from year to year.

Get an accurate diagnosis

To get an accurate diagnosis of occupational health and safety management in your workplace, you can use the diagnostic tool (in French only). This tool can also be used to evaluate each of the winning conditions.

This tool can be useful for performance evaluation if it is used annually.

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