Health and Safety Committee

Q - Could the review of Hazardous Occurrence Investigation Reports be included in the WPHSC’s terms of reference?

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The following sections of the Canada Labour Code (CLC) Part II state:

Specific duties of employer

125. (1)
...(c) investigate, record and report in the manner and to the authorities as prescribed all accidents, occupational diseases and other hazardous occurrences known to the employer;
...(z.02) respond as soon as possible to reports made by employees under paragraph 126(1)(g);
...(z.11) provide to the policy committee, if any, and to the work place committee or the health and safety representative, a copy of any report on hazards in the work place, including an assessment of those hazards;

Work Place Health and Safety Committees
Duties of committee

135. (7)
...(g) shall ensure that adequate records are maintained on work accidents, injuries and health hazards relating to the health and safety of employees and regularly monitor data relating to those accidents, injuries and hazards;

Information

135. (8) A work place committee, in respect of the work place for which it is established, may request from an employer any information that the committee considers necessary to identify existing or potential hazards with respect to materials, processes, equipment or activities.

Access

135. (9) A work place committee, in respect of the work place for which it is established, shall have full access to all of the government and employer reports, studies and tests relating to the health and safety of the employees, or to the parts of those reports, studies and tests that relate to the health and safety of employees, but shall not have access to the medical records of any person except with the person’s consent.

The following section of the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (COHSR) states:

Investigations

15.4 (1) Where an employer becomes aware of an accident, occupational disease or other hazardous occurrence affecting any of his employees in the course of employment, the employer shall, without delay,

(a) appoint a qualified person to carry out an investigation of the hazardous occurrence;
(b) notify the work place committee or the health and safety representative of the hazardous occurrence and of the name of the person appointed to investigate it; and
(c) take necessary measures to prevent a recurrence of the hazardous occurrence.

(2) Where the hazardous occurrence referred to in subsection (1) is an accident involving a motor vehicle on a public road that is investigated by a police authority, the investigation referred to in paragraph (1)(a) shall be carried out by obtaining from the appropriate police authority a copy of its report respecting the accident.

(3) As soon as possible after receipt of the report referred to in subsection (2), the employer shall provide a copy thereof to the work place committee or the health and safety representative.

A - It is not necessary to include this in the Terms of Reference.  Should the employer not apply the sections above it would be a contravention of the CLC Part II and not as a contravention of the Terms of Reference.  When the employer contravenes the CLC Part II a complaint can be filed as per section 127.1 of the CLC Part II.