Safety is an integral requirement in all workplaces. Employers are expected under the law to provide safe working environments for their workers. Providing a safe workplace is multi-faceted and addresses numerous aspects, including providing safety equipment, eliminating hazards, and insuring workers against possible workplace injuries. Canada has stringent regulations regarding workplace safety to which employers must adhere. Otherwise, they risk being liable. Workplace safety has also emerged as an essential employee motivation factor, prompting employers to take it seriously. For example, some companies have resorted to hiring safety consultants to ensure adherence to workplace safety standards, reinforcing their employees' job satisfaction. Thus, this article will focus on safety consultants' role in assisting organizations in understanding and respecting employees' rights regarding workplace safety.
The Right to be Informed About Existing Hazards
Employees have a right to know existing dangers in their workplace. It includes direct dangers existing in their working environment and those associated with triggers. An example of a direct danger includes employees working in cold rooms maintained at low temperatures. Such environments pose respiratory risks, which workers should be informed about for precautionary measures. Employers who do not inform workers about existing hazards may be liable should their employees sustain injuries. Thus, companies may contract safety consultants to prepare and implement training programs intended to educate employees on workplace dangers and effective safety measures. Such programs are evidence of employers' respect for their workers' right to know about existing risks.
The Right to be Involved in Safety Management
Besides employees' knowledge rights, they are also required to be involved in safety operations. Workers should be included in their organizations' safety committees as relevant stakeholders. They should provide their safety concerns, which should be evaluated and addressed appropriately, improving their job satisfaction. Companies may contract safety consultants to aid in formulating representative safety committees that include relevant stakeholders. The safety consultants will ensure that the committee's membership is balanced, upholding workers' participation. Moreover, the safety consultants may formulate by-laws governing the safety committee, safeguarding employees' participation rights.
The Right to Reject Working in Uncontrolled Hazardous Areas
Employees have a right to turn down work in risky areas that predispose them to injuries. Issues such as lacking appropriate safety equipment are sufficient ground to stop working until the concern is addressed. Employers who coerce employees to work in hazardous areas without the necessary equipment may be liable. Moreover, go-slows among workers may affect a company's performance. Thus, organizations may contract safety consultants to establish effective channels to address workers' safety concerns. The established channels should allow employees to reject working in high-risk areas without the fear of punishment.