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It is common sense for business owners to want employees to feel that they are working in a safe environment. It also makes good business practice for financial and productivity reasons to ensure that your business is operating as safely as possible. Focusing on safety is one way to minimize liability and risk within your business - and that translates into a healthy bottom line.
What are my obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act of Newfoundland and Labrador?
As an employer you are subject to formal requirements regarding workplace safety. These requirements could include a written occupational health and safety document and/or an internal health and safety program and committee. If your business handles dangerous equipment or substances, there may be even further requirements for you to be aware of.
In Newfoundland and Labrador, failure to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act can be charged as an offence. Business owners found liable could be subjected to a fine up to $250,000, twelve months in prison or both.
Newfoundland and Labrador Occupational Health and Safety requirements differ depending on the number of employees at a business.
For fewer than ten employees you need:
For more than ten employees you need:
In situations where an employee will be working alone, a written Working Alone Procedure for Checking on an Employee must be created. “Working Alone” means in circumstances where assistance would not be readily available to the worker.
Newfoundland and Labrador First Aid requirements also differ depending on the number of employees.
For fewer than fifteen employees you need:
For more than fifteen employees you need:
There are further requirements for workplaces with more than 200 employees. Please contact a Business Counsellor for more information.
Do I need to purchase special training?
Some of our members have reported getting telemarketing calls from organizations who are soliciting them to purchase online web training for occupational health and safety. Training is required for Worker Health and Safety Representatives, Worker Health and Safety Designates and certain members of Health and Safety Committees. This training must be done through a trainer approved by WorkplaceNL (formerly WHSCC)
Do I need to allow health and safety officers into my business?
Health and safety officers are appointed under the authority of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. They are given the legislative responsibility to enter and inspect workplaces to ensure a worker's right to a safe and healthy work environment, and to enforce provincial health and safety legislation. If an officer arrives at your business, it is wise to confirm his or her identity and verify their credentials.