In the blink of an eye and it’s August! We have a few very interesting OHS updates from Alberta Labour this month.
- Everyone has some level of risk to the harmful effects of extreme heat. Identify those most at risk considering job tasks – working outdoors or in areas with insufficient ventilation, older adults, people with pre-existing health conditions, people with reduced mobility. Reduce your risk of serious health issues (even death) by being prepared, staying cool, staying hydrated and staying informed! Alberta OHS has provided some guidelines in the following link – alberta.ca/ExtremeHeat
- Hazardous footwear has been a contentious issue in the workplace for some time. Certain types of footwear can increase the risk of injury. Although OHS law does not specifically prohibit certain types of shoes in workplaces, it should be considered when evaluating risk in the workplace. The following resource explains the requirements regarding foot protection and footwear under the OHS code – Hazardous footwear
- An employer must ensure that a crane operating on rails, tracks or trolleys has a positive stop or limiting device on the crane or on the rails, tracks or trolleys to prevent it from overrunning safe limits or contacting other equipment that is on the same rail, track or trolley – Occupational Health and Safety Code, s. 95(a)- The following link explains the OHS Code requirement – Positive stop or limiting devices and multiple-overhead-crane lifts
- The inherent risk in working alone might seem obvious but sometimes is not always mitigated suitably and sufficiently. A person is “alone” at work when they are on their own; when they cannot be seen or heard by another person. The following resource provides some guidelines on this – Working alone
Another important topic that is often overlooked is the importance of Standard Operating Procedures.
A Safe Operating Procedure (SOP) is a step-by-step process that guides a worker through a task from start to finish in a chronological order.
Clearly written SOPs are essential because they eliminate uncertainty about how to best complete assignments thereby reducing risk of exposure. SOPs are established in the organization for addressing significant hazards or for dealing with circumstances that may present other significant risks/liabilities for the organization. They reflect the approach of the organization for controlling safety hazards.
Take a moment to review your critical tasks and ensure they have suitable SOPs.