Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

September 27, 2011 20:45 ET

Canada's Labour Minister Promotes Best Practices in Workplace Health and Safety

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 27, 2011) - The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada's Labour Minister attended the gala dinner of the 2011 Canada's Safest Employers Award. She underlined the importance of workplace safety and spoke about recent accomplishments in the field.

"Our Government remains focused on the economic recovery and on Canadian jobs, this involves promoting a healthy and productive workplace," said Minister Raitt. "Healthy work environments act as a catalyst to productivity and innovation. Together we can work towards achieving a model for fair, respectful and healthy workplaces that will lead to a strong and prosperous Canada."

The Canada's Safest Employers Award was launched in December 2010 by the Canadian Occupational Safety magazine to recognize Canadian organizations for the work they do to keep their workers and workplaces safe.

"I would like to congratulate everyone for their efforts in creating healthy and safe workplace environments," said Minister Raitt. "Finding ways to prevent injury and illness in the workplace is an integral part of keeping Canada's labour force strong, healthy and competitive."

The Labour Program develops, administers and enforces workplace legislation and regulations, such as the Canada Labour Code, which covers industrial relations, health, safety and employment standards for federally regulated workers and employers.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

BACKGROUNDER

The Intervention Model and the Violence Prevention Regulations

The Canada Labour Code, Part II was founded on the basic principle that the workplace parties are in the best position to prevent injuries and illnesses in the workplace. Two recent occupational health and safety initiatives that have been developed according to this principle are the Intervention Model and the Violence Prevention Regulations.

Intervention Model

The Intervention Model (IM), introduced in 2011, is the Labour Program's preferred method of service delivery for proactive interventions with high-priority industries and employers. The IM is a three-step process that takes a more systematic approach to identifying not only issues of non-compliance, as with the traditional workplace inspection, but systemic weaknesses as well. The IM also aims to involve and strengthen the internal responsibility system through work with health and safety representatives and workplace committees.

The Intervention Model supports the use of internal responsibility to improve a workplace's health and safety program and is intended to be a positive experience through a collaborative approach between the Labour Program and clients under federal jurisdiction. The ultimate goal of reducing injuries and illnesses to employees is accomplished by ensuring the workplace has systems in place that proactively identify and address health and safety issues. Rather than relying on strict enforcement by the Labour Program and reactive interventions, the IM aims to build capacity in the workplace by engaging management and health and safety representatives or workplace committees. This approach will also serve to reduce the number of complaints and refusals to work.

Violence Prevention Regulations

On May 28, 2008, Part XX of the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, entitled Violence Prevention in the Work Place, came into effect. The regulation defines "workplace violence" to include not only incidents that involve physical violence, but also psychological violence.

The regulation requires employers subject to federal jurisdiction to develop workplace violence prevention policies, to conduct hazard identification and assessments, to implement hazard controls and to provide training for employees. The regulation also contains provisions requiring an employer to respond to, as well as to record and investigate, acts of violence.

In May 2010, the Labour Program published its "Guide to Violence Prevention in the Work Place" to better assist employers, members of a policy or workplace committee, or health and safety representatives. It is available online at http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/labour/.

Contact Information

  • Ashley Kelahear
    Press Secretary
    Office of Minister Raitt
    819-953-5646

    Media Relations Office
    Human Resources and Skills
    Development Canada
    819-994-5559