OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 2 Hazard Assessment, Elimination and Control

Section 8 Worker participation

Subsection 8(1) Worker involvement

The purpose of this requirement is to encourage employers to involve workers in hazard assessment, elimination, and control activities. Workers are often very knowledgeable about the tasks or processes being assessed, and can be directly affected by the hazard elimination and control activities. Workers often have more insight into a task or process than persons who only observe the completed work.

To demonstrate compliance with this requirement, the employer should be able to indicate which workers were meaningfully involved and to what extent. Workers should be able to confirm their involvement in the assessment, elimination, and control activities.

Involving workers can

(a) increase the number of persons available to perform assessments, spreading out the work into manageable pieces,

(b) teach them how to recognize hazards, increasing the likelihood that the hazards will be quickly corrected, and

(c) increase their awareness of, and involvement in, health and safety issues at the work site.

To be successful, workers must know ahead of time what is expected of them. They should be given the training they will need to do the job effectively.

Subsection 8(2) Informing workers

Workers affected by the hazards identified in the hazard assessment report need to know about those hazards and the methods that will be used to eliminate or control the hazards. These workers have the greatest potential to be affected by the hazards. They need to know if corrective measures will require them to do something.

The findings of the hazard assessment report can be communicated to workers by any effective method. This may include briefing workers on a one-to-one basis, discussing the results at safety meetings, or posting the results in a location accessible to workers.

To determine if the results of the hazard assessment have been communicated to those workers affected by its findings, an OHS officer may approach workers and ask them whether they are aware of an assessment having been performed and how its results have affected their work, and work in general at the work site. The employer may be asked to describe how workers were informed of the findings and recommendations of the hazard assessment report, including when and by what means.