Hazards and risks - the employer’s role
Every workplace has hazards. Identifying them and managing the risks they pose is the foundation of workplace health and safety.
We all have a responsibility to keep ourselves and each other safe at work. As an employer, it’s your job to lead regular, systematic assessments of the workplace to:
- identify the hazards (things that might harm someone);
- assess the risks (how likely they are to happen and how bad they could be); and
- control the risks (taking steps to prevent them from happening).
The Government of Yukon has introduced enhanced hazard assessment regulations as part of the existing “Part 1 - General” regulation of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. The amendments strengthen the regulation, making it clearer and easier to understand and establish requirements around frequency of completing hazard assessments and the need for training.
The amendments will come into force September 4, 2021, giving employers a full year for implementation.
You can benefit from regularly identifying hazards and managing risks in your workplace.
- Increase safety for yourself, your workers, contractors, visitors and the public.
- Reduce injuries and illness.
- Improve morale, productivity and reputation by showing your commitment to health and safety.
- Make financial savings from fewer injury-related personnel and equipment costs.
You must ensure the health and safety of everyone on all your work sites. You must prepare and properly train your workers to handle situations that could threaten the health and safety of anyone in the workplace.
Your obligations for identifying hazards and managing risks are laid out in Yukon legislation:
The full Act and Regulations are available at yukonregs.ca.
Effectively identifying hazards and managing risks involves six steps.
Identify the hazards. Involve workers, the joint health and safety committee or the safety representative, if you have one, to identify all the actual and potential hazards in the jobs they do and the environments in which they do them. Look at past incident/injury reports. Make a list of hazards.
Consider the risks. For each hazard on the list, rate the likelihood and severity of each one. How likely will someone be hurt by this hazard and how badly?
Plan ways to eliminate or control each hazard. If you can’t completely remove a hazard, plan ways in which you can reduce the risks it poses (identified in Step 2).
Communicate your plan to your workers. Make sure they are familiar with the controls (the ways to reduce the risks) that you have put in place. Equip and train everyone in the workplace to be ready to take action if for some reason the plan to eliminate or control a hazard is not successful.
Evaluate your hazard identification and risk assessment plan to make sure it’s working. Make sure you have removed the hazards or reduced the risks.
Monitor your workplace to make sure the plan continues to be effective and complete and for any changes to the hazards and risks; new hazards may have arisen. Make sure that the actions taken to remove hazards or reduce risks are still valid. Keep your staff trained and equipped. Keep your plan alive.
Train to save with CHOICES
If you provide safety training to your workers, you could be eligible for a rebate on your workers’ compensation premiums through the CHOICES program.
We can help
The following three sample forms will help to get you started with identifying hazards and managing risks.
Note. In workplace health and safety, the names used for types/levels of hazard identification and risk management vary. You may have a form that does the same job but has a different name.
Job Hazard Analysis
To identify hazards a person could be exposed to from a newly implemented (or amended) process or equipment. This form is used to create site-specific procedures and practices, which can then be added to a company’s programming for workers to reference in the future.
Workplace Risk Assessment
To look broadly at the hazards a person could be exposed to while at a worksite or on a project. This form is used as a planning document for other aspects of a safety management system such as identifying missing procedures, information to include in orientations and work scheduling.
Field Level Risk Assessment
To identify hazards a person could be exposed to at a specific time, based on the conditions and activities present at that time. This form is used at worksites where the conditions and activities may change on a daily or hourly basis.
YWCHSB safety officers are available for consultation and support. Call 867-667-5450 or 800-661-0443, or email [email protected].
Northern Safety Network Yukon offers training and resources. Call 867-633-6673, or email [email protected].
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has helpful resources.
Hazard and risk fact sheet
Risk assessment fact sheet