If a worker falls when performing work for an organization…employers have only one defense – due diligence.
An example of due diligence defence is R. v. Servisair. The defendant was able t show it had ensured the health and safety of the worker by conduction the following:
- Consulted experts to ensure safe practices and procedures were developed.
- Implemented training programs for awareness of fall protection equipment.
- Making fall protection equipment available.
- Ensuring compliance of all systems in place
What can employers do?
Implement a fall protection system which includes;
- Fall prevention with restraint systems and guardrails
- Fall arrest through safety nets or fall arrest systems
- Hazard elimination through safe work practices
What else can be done?
Focus on safe work practices.
- Obey the laws and ensure appropriate fall protection systems are in place.
- Have clear policy in place.
- Inspect workplace prior to work taking place.
- Perform random inspections and audits.
- When fall protection is not being used, consistent discipline is necessary.
If the organization is monitoring for safe work practices and discipline is being taken when necessary, the workplace will be a safer place for everyone.