Safety starts with awareness and understanding. A company’s safety policy with a signature from the most senior official demonstrates leadership’s personal and corporate commitment to a safe workplace. It lets employees know that safety is a priority throughout the organization, and that unsafe practices are not acceptable.
Every employer with 20 or more employees regularly working in the province must have a written safety policy. The safety policy sets out the responsibilities of the employer, the supevisor and the employees. It is a document that indicates the workplace commitment to health and safety and is an important component of the overall health and safety program.
Workplaces with five to nineteen employees at a workplace must also have a safety policy in place, and that policy may include a requirement for a health and safety representative. In workplaces that have a high risk of health and safety to their employees, or where the accident record is higher than normal, WorkSafeNB may require the employer to establish a safety policy and include a requirement for a health and safety representative. Where the health and safety representative is required, employees must elect this person. The employer must post the name of the elected health and safety representative in a prominent place or places at the workplace(s).
A safety policy:
Tips for Turning Your Safety Policy Into Action
Keep in mind that a policy sitting in a filing cabinet does not change anything. Even the best policy will be ineffective if it’s not properly used – and that starts with communicating it.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT
S.N.B. 1983, c. O-0.2
DUTIES OF EMPLOYERS, OWNERS, CONTRACTORS, SUB-CONTRACTORS, SUPERVISORS, EMPLOYEES AND SUPPLIERS
Section 8 Establishment and filing of safety policy
8. (1) Every employer with 20 or more employees regularly employed in the Province shall establish a written safety policy, in consultation with his or her employees.
(1.1) The safety policy shall set out the responsibilities of the employer, supervisors and employees.
(2) The employer shall keep a copy of the safety policy at each place of employment of the employer and shall make it available to an officer on request.
[S.N.B. 2001, c. 35, s. 2; 2013, c. 15, s. 2; 2019, c. 38, s. 2, 3]
HEALTH AND SAFETY REPRESENTATIVES
Section 17 Health and safety representatives
17. (0.1) This section does not apply to a project site.
(1) Subject to subsection (2), every employer with not fewer than five and not more than nineteen employees regularly employed at a place of employment shall establish a safety policy in respect of that place of employment which shall set out the responsibilities of the employer, supervisors and employees and which may include provision for a health and safety representative.
(2) Where the nature of employment at a place of employment presents a high risk to the health and safety of employees or where the accident record of a place of employment is higher than is normal for that place of employment or for similar places of employment, the Commission may require an employer to establish and file with the Commission a safety policy that includes provision for a health and safety representative.
(3) Where a safety policy established under subsection (1) or (2) includes provision for a health and safety representative, the employees shall elect a health and safety representative.
(4) The employer shall post the name of the elected health and safety representative in a prominent place or places at the place of employment.
[S.N.B. 2007, c. 12, s. 6; 2019, c. 38, s. 9]