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How to protect the health and safety of your workers and your business

As an employer in Canada, you are required by law to take all reasonable precautions to protect your workers from illness or injury. On top of that, it’s just good for business. Research shows companies investing in health and safety see a reduction in the number of work-related injuries and illnesses and improved savings through reduced workers’ compensation claims. So how do you get there? Putting the right pieces in place may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how you start:

  • Have an expert(s) assess your workplace to determine what measures need to be taken to not only comply with applicable regulations around occupational health and safety, but to make certain your employees are working in the best conditions possible. Knowing what the legislation requires and what the health hazards are is the first step to addressing them.
  • Once you identify the hazards, work on putting the appropriate programs in place. For instance, if your workers are exposed to certain levels of silica, typically  your workers will require a medical examination as well as baseline and periodic pulmonary function testing, a fitness to wear a respirator assessment, and respirator fit testing.
  • Hazards are not just limited to designated substances. Alcohol and drug use, misuse or abuse can also affect the health and safety of your workers. Deep-rooted addiction problems raise the risk of incidents and injuries in your workplace, increase absenteeism, and lower retention rates. An alcohol and drug testing program will identify and address these issues in a proactive way.
  • If your workers perform physically demanding work, you’ll need to arrange for a Physical Demands Analysis to be completed for each position. The PDA is an analysis of the essential physical demands of the job and out of this, a physical abilities testing  protocol is developed. This protocol will be used to test job candidates to determine if they are capable of performing the physical demands of the job (frequently lifting 50 pounds, repetitive motion, etc.).
  • If your workers are required to do shift work or if they have extended shifts, they could be susceptible to fatigue. A fatigue management program can help through technology that can actually predict the level of work-related fatigue associated with specific shifts. And with almost a third of commercial vehicle drivers estimated to be suffering from sleep apnea, a program to diagnose and treat this disorder would provide reassurance that the commercial vehicle drivers you send out on the road are not endangering themselves or the public. And because sleep apnea is linked to other health conditions, including diabetes and hypertension, proactively addressing this disorder will improve the health of your workers, your retention rates, and lower absenteeism.

Not all of these steps will be necessary for every workplace. But many employers are dealing with at least a few of these issues. And now that you know the basic steps required to address them, you are ready to get started! Keep it simple by hiring one provider to meet all of your needs – whether it is for fatigue management, occupational health testing, physical abilities testing, or alcohol and drug testing. Feel free to get in touch with the team at DriverCheck to chat about our one-stop shop for workplace medical testing and assessments.