WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH SUBMISSION
Manitoba companies have always placed paramount importance upon workplace safety. An unsafe work environment is a competitive disadvantage, first and foremost in terms of the human costs of injuries, and in terms of decreased productivity. It is for this reason that The Winnipeg Chamber has taken, and continues to take, an active role in advocating policies and initiatives that encourage and enhance workplace safety. Improving safety in the Province is the responsibility of employers and workers, not government. The internal responsibility system is the vehicle by which safety in the workplace should be improved.
Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Recommendations:
- Involve key stakeholders in the consultation process on specific changes being considered to safety and health regulations.
- Hold employees responsible in situations where employers have exercised due diligence and the employees have failed to meet their responsibilities under the act.
- Base improvement orders upon an assessment of the hazards that exist and the risk posed.
- Focus on more efficient enforcement of existing safety regulations as opposed to higher fines, which are an ineffective way of improving safety.
- Use all or a portion of a fine for a violation to implement remedial measures within that workplace to improve employee safety and health.
- Provide the employer with an opportunity to address the issue identified in an improvement order throughout the workplace without multiple improvement orders being written.
- Support compliance assurance over administrative penalties for summary offences.
- Do not expand the powers of safety committees, in particular changes to legislation which would entitle the safety committee to submit to “arbitration” a dispute regarding the recommendations of one or more committee members.
- Implement awareness and education campaigns as opposed to making an ergonomic program a legislated requirement in all workplaces.
- Improve access to employee assistance programs as a better approach to dealing with workplace violence.
Adopted by The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce board of directors, November 2001