CRA President’s Message: Helping you work safe
By Dan SpencerCanadian Rental Association business
Spring is finally here and on behalf of the Canadian Rental Association I would like to remind you that May 6 to 10 is the North American Occupational Health and Safety week. This is a great reminder to take necessary precautions to keep yourselves, your employees and your customers safe.
As most of the equipment and event rental industry are in the middle of the chaos of the busy season, businesses will experience accidents and injuries both at their stores and in the field. It is important to remember that safety precautions are not complicated and can be easily implemented. Below you will find some important occupational health and safety tips.
The question is “Are you doing your due diligence?”
According to OH&S legislation in Canada, due diligence is the level of judgement, care, prudence, determination and activity that a person would reasonably be expected to do under given circumstances. Applied to occupational health and safety, due diligence means that employers shall take all reasonable precautions, under the particular circumstances, to prevent injuries or accidents in the workplace. This duty also applies to situations that are not addressed elsewhere in the occupational health and safety legislation. Reasonable precautions are also referred to as reasonable care. It refers to the care, caution, or action a reasonable person is expected to take under similar circumstances.
Employers must do what is “reasonably practicable.” Reasonably practicable has been described by the Labour Program (Canada) as taking precautions that are not only possible, but that are also suitable or rational, given the particular situation. Determining what should be done is usually done on a case-by-case basis.
To exercise due diligence, an employer must implement a plan to identify possible workplace hazards and carry out the appropriate corrective action to prevent accidents or injuries arising from these hazards. How can you avoid or decrease incidents? Train the supervisors to ensure they are competent, as defined in legislation. Ensure that managers and supervisors take the following steps:
- Talk to new employees about safety during orientation training
- Meet regularly with staff to discuss health and safety matters
- Inspect areas of the workplace under their responsibility and respond promptly to unsafe conditions and activities
- Pay attention to routine and non-routine activities, ensuring that employees understand the hazards and the preventative measures to be followed
As a CRA member, on our website crarental.org in the Members Only corner, you will find at no charge under Safety a library of forms, checklists and resources that will help you implement safe work practices. There you can find an onboarding checklist for supervisors; safe work practices for towing equipment on a customer’s site; a list of seven common accident causes; skid-steer, telehandler and excavator checklists; a primer on driving blind spots; and procedures to follow in a motor vehicle accident.
Our Health and Safety Shared Interest Group is not only committed to keeping you informed of the common hazards but also to provide you with continuous educational tools that will help you in keeping your employees and business away from the day-to-day risks. I encourage you periodically to visit our website and to browse through the material provided- it will definitely help you and your business!
Dan Spencer has worked in the rental industry for 11 years and has been actively involved with the CRA locally and nationally for the past eight years. He resides near Antigonish, N.S., with his wife Heidi and their two chocolate labs, Keppoch and Cali.
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