If you or your company is unfortunate enough to have received an order by an Officer from Occupational Health and Safety and it results in a fine, the government has developed some creative ways to implement those fines. Not only does the fine result in a payment to the government but several safety organizations and other relevant organizations may benefit as well. Excerpts from the article below published in 2008, shares some of the recipients of those benefits.
Alberta courts send a message while safety organizations benefit
Fines levied for contraventions of Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act reached their highest total ever in 2007, reflecting a growing intolerance of unsafe workplace practices.
Twelve companies were fined a total of $1,720,000 in penalties, which topples the 2006 tally of $1,534,500. Of these penalties, $780,000 was ordered by the court to be paid to health and safety organizations as part of creative sentencing orders.
Recipients of these funds included STARS, Foothills Hospital Burn Unit, Canadian Home Builders’ Association, Threads of Life, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Manufacturers’ Health and Safety Association, and St. John Ambulance.
“I’m pleased the courts continue to send strong, clear messages that workplace health and safety must be taken seriously,” said Iris Evans, Minister of Employment, Immigration and Industry. “Government, industry and labour must also continue to send their own clear messages that workplace health and safety is a priority and that senseless, preventable incidents simply won’t be tolerated.”
The Manufacturers’ Health and Safety Association was awarded $195,000 resulting from a 2003 incident at Westcon Precast in Calgary, and STARS Air Ambulance was awarded a total of $190,000 resulting from two incidents near Hinton and Edson in 2003.
The maximum penalty for a first offence under the OHS Act is $500,000 and/or six months in prison for each charge.
(Source: Alberta Employment, Immigration and Industry – “Backgrounder” January 11, 2008)
Once you have received an order, it is necessary to comply with that order so the charges do not escalate. The order will specify the section of the legislation that is in violation. It is then up to you to correct that violation. Sometimes this can be a daunting task. Safety In A Box®, in addition to the forms and booklets needed to meet legislation; also contains a User Guide. This User Guide (also available in CD) is a road map for meeting your obligations opposite OHS legislation. It explains in easy to understand terms the requirements, includes additional forms to manage your program and instruction on how to use the booklets
Safety In A Box ® helps companies understand and meet their health, safety and legal obligations as well as mitigate any potential liabilities. This innovative, affordable, field-ready product gives you the knowledge and resources to keep your small and medium job sites compliant and safe.
The Safety In A Box ® starter kit comes complete with the field ready forms, cards, logbooks and user guide required to follow the OHS Legislation. Simply open the box, follow the user guide, and you’re on your way to a safer, healthier workplace.