Tips for Small Businesses

  • Posted on: 2 October 2014
  • By: Charles Redhead

According to Stats Canada small businesses (under 100 workers) employ 75% or 2.9 million workers in Ontario.   However, many small businesses lack the resources to have a full-time health and safety person on staff, so the quality of health and safety their worker places have varies greatly.  This can lead to hazards going unchecked, accidents and rising WSIB claims and premiums.

Here are some tips to help foster a strong health and safety culture in your small workplace:

  1. Make health and safety a part of your workers daily lives.  Have a health and safety bulletin board and keep your postings current.   
  2. Conduct weekly health and safety talks.  They only have to be 5-10 minutes long and should be on current issues.  For example, a talk on the importance of winter tires, watching for little children around Halloween, no drinking and driving at the holiday season, or in the spring a talk about bugs and epi-pens.  Have your employees take turns giving the talks to encourage involvement.
  3. Ask for a volunteer to be your health and safety champion.    This person can do a monthly workplace inspection and report the results back to management.  This helps get employees involved and helps with your due diligence should there ever be an accident.
  4. Ask staff for their input on any hazards in your workplace.  Your front line workers will know more about existing hazards as they are the ones doing the work.  This also makes your staff feel involved and important to the health and safety of your workplace.
  5. Act on your employees' suggestions and the monthly inspections.  There is no quicker way to disengage your employees than to ignore their suggestions and comments.