Workplace Safety Is a Team Effort

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What Your Personal Injury Lawyer in Ottawa Wants You to Know

In the workplace, the safety of each worker is of paramount importance. There are multiple regulatory bodies and laws in place for exactly this purpose, including the Ontario Health and Safety Act (OHSA), the Canada Labor Code, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)-the latter should be familiar to anyone who’s ever had an accident at work. All of them are based on the same basic tenet: that safety in the workplace is the responsibility of all, including employers and employees. And if you have been injured in the workplace and are discussing your case with a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa, their first step will be ensuring that both you and your employer held up your end when it came to ensuring safety.

An Employer’s Responsibilities

An employer’s primary responsibility is to do whatever they can to ensure a safe workplace. This means ensuring that all employees receive the proper training for any and all tasks that they undertake, as well as access to the appropriate safety equipment, such as goggles, gloves, visors, harnesses, and more. This also means taking measures to maintain all equipment and machinery, making sure that it is in good operational condition, and that if it isn’t, that employees are notified that they are not to use it.

Making sure that WHMIS symbols are properly displayed, material safety data sheets are readily available, and developing and deploying health and safety programs and policies may also fall under an employer’s responsibilities, depending on the workplace and the nature of the work being done. In the event of an injury, they must follow the standard procedure, ensure that the employee injured receives adequate medical attention, and fill out the proper paperwork.

One essential responsibility of all employers is to inform all employees of any foreseeable hazard in the workplace, whether it’s something as simple as a wet floor or as serious as exposed wiring.

An Employee’s Responsibilities

If you have been injured at work and are considering consulting an Ottawa personal injury lawyer, be aware: you will be asked about what you were doing when you had the accident. Your employer is not the only one with responsibilities. You also have a responsibility to conduct yourself in a safe way and to not take risks that could be of detriment to your safety. You have a right to know about all potential risks, and a right to refuse dangerous work, but it is also your duty to exercise these rights and to properly follow safety instructions, use safety equipment, and report any dangerous conditions that you encounter.

You share the responsibility of your safety with your employer-a safe workplace is a team effort. If you have done your best to mitigate potential injury but, due to unsafe conditions, inadequate training, or faulty equipment, you have been injured regardless, then a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa may be able to assist you in being fairly compensated.