As required by the Canadian Labour Code, all employers and employees are required to comply with safety standards established to minimize the risk of injuries or accidents on the job. A compliance policy is in place to help both employers and employees understand their roles in safety on the job. Health and safety officers will work with organizations to ensure that the policies are being enforced and properly followed.
A Closer Look at the Compliance Policy
for Businesses and Employees in Canada
Assurance of Voluntary Compliance.
Also known as the AVC, this action is the first step in ensuring that employers and employees follow the Canadian standards for safety in the workplace. This is a written commitment to the health and safety officer. It is important to note that the AVC should not be used when correcting a dangerous situation.
The health and safety officer has the authority to provide a direction to an employer who is not meeting guidelines. This requires them to terminate and correct unsafe behavior in the workplace place by a specified date.
If a health and safety officer has determined that a company is non-compliant they may initiate a prosecution. This is usually not issued unless corrective action has not been taken on a previously identified issue.
Employers, employees, and unions may file an appeal of the health and safety officer’s findings within thirty days. In the instance where an employee feels that danger is present but the case was ruled safe they may appeal this decision within ten days. Appeals must be made to the Occupational Health and Safety Tribunal Canada.
Health and safety officers are able to enter any workplace at reasonable time within business hours for an inspection or investigation. They will typically request that a health and safety committee member from the organization be present to answer questions throughout the inspection. Employers and employees are expected to cooperate with the officer throughout the process and provide all necessary assistance during and after the visit.
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