Employers in Canada are now becoming aware of the importance of lone worker safety. Canadian business owners who employ “ a person at work when they are on their own; when they cannot be seen or heard by another person” are quickly understanding not only the consideration but the legal requirements.
Different provinces have different rules around lone worker safety, but they all require businesses to take the necessary precautions to protect them.
Currently some businesses in Canada are unaware of the ramifications if a lone worker was to be involved in an incident or accident. Many issues may arise and the damage can be devastating to the company as well as the worker.
Pain and Suffering
The unfortunate accident of a lone worker can cause serious damage to a business in the form of a lawsuit, fines, or raising concerns in the media, hurting the business brand or name. This is over and above the physical and emotional pain that could be suffered by the workers involved..
Some companies may find it confusing to remain compliant, as the different provinces have different rules around lone worker safety. Listed below are some highlights on the existing regulations on each of the provinces in Canada. It is important, however, to always refer to the full regulations with your province and any other entities before creating or implementing a lone worker safety program for your business.
Alberta requires time-interval check-ins with lone workers. Also, employers must provide an effective system of communications for its lone workers, such as phone, radio or acceptable electronic communication.
Communication regulations are based on the nature of the employees work and more information can be found in this publication: Working alone safely : a guide for employers and employees
The Occupational Health and Safety regulations (OHSR) created by WorkSafeBC is where employers in British Columbia will find the regulations they are required to adhere to.. Employers must implement procedures for checking on the well-being of lone workers, which include time-interval checks and regular contact as outlined in section 4.21.
Even though Ontario does not currently have any specific regulations on protecting lone workers, employers are compelled to take every precaution to protect them. Stay up to date with Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety system for more information.
Manitoba has implemented the following procedures to ensure lone worker safety. Such as: Any potential safety hazards must be removed or minimized before a worker can work alone.Regular check-ins must be done throughout any work alone shift, either through radio, telephone or cellphone.
These check-ins must be company policy. Anyone working alone must be trained in safety procedures related to the job, to help reduce the risk of harm. For more information, visit the Government of Manitoba.
Any lone worker must follow the “Code of Practice for Working Alone Regulation” to reduce the risk of harm and ensure their safety.
This code includes the details of where the worker is, a list of contacts, any possible risks and how to contact emergency assistance. Both workers and their supervisors must complete a training program under the code of practice.
For more information, visit the New Brunswick Occupational Health and Safety Act.
There must always be an effective way of regularly checking-in with lone workers, such as through radio, landline or cellphone. These check-ins must be company policy.
Any potential safety hazards must be removed or minimized before a worker can work alone. If the work involves travel, then emergency supplies must be provided in case of any extreme weather conditions. For more information, visit Work Safe Saskatchewan.
Recently updated requirements in Quebec outline basic requirements in section 322 of the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. 322 states that “When a worker performs a task alone in an isolated environment where it is impossible for him to request assistance, an efficient means of surveillance, whether continuous or intermittent, shall be installed.”
How Can Canadian Businesses Stay Compliant?
Stay up to date on the latest national, provincial and territorial regulations regarding lone worker safety. Keep in mind that regulations can change suddenly, and expect more legislation to be developed to address the issue of lone worker safety.
The sooner your business is aware of the responsibilities it must take, the sooner you will be in compliance and help your workers feel confident in their working environment.
With that said, now is the time to put a plan in place as many of the regulations in Canada are requiring businesses to provide a communication system that lone workers can use to call for help, or check in as “Safe” at regular intervals.
Alarm Guard Security and It’s Lone Worker Safety Program offer businesses a modern, technology-driven solution for businesses to comply with regulations, protect their workers and protect their bottom line.
A lone worker device supported by features like check-in/check-out, emergency reporting and 24/7monitoring, the Alarm Guard lone worker device with panic button provides a comprehensive solution for businesses—and keeps lone workers safe.
With hands free (talk & listen), instant alerts and notifications, and the ability to be completely mobile anywhere that carries a cellular signal offers that extra layer of protection.
For More Information:
Call The Experts at Alarm Guard Security For More Information:
Lone Worker Division – Alarm Guard Security – Protection Coast To Coast In Canada.
1 866 282 3331