Frequently Asked Questions

Here at the SHSA we believe that you can never ask too many questions, especially when it comes to the health, safety and well-being of our Saskatchewan people. Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions we hear from our members. These questions come from general day to day business and the training we provide.

How do I know if the SHSA represents my organization/business?

The SHSA represents the WCB S21, S22, S23 rate codes in Saskatchewan. For a complete detailed listing of all the WCB rate code we represent click here.

What kind of training do you offer?

We offer Safety Centered Leadership training programs on a regular basis in Regina and Saskatoon. We do travel to any and all smaller centres, towns, and villages across the province. All of our training is offered on a request and need basis. We come to you to work at the speed of your business. For a complete list of our Safety Centered Leadership Training click here.

How do I determine who requires what training within my business or organization?

The SHSA has a dedicated team of safety and business advisors who are trained to promote and facilitate a safety centered leadership culture. We provide you the information necessary to inspire you and your staff to innovate the way you protect the people who make your business or organization work.

I’ve been audited. Now what?

Call us. We will review the audit report and work directly with you in determining and implementing ways that will improve your overall work place safety. We provide consultations for free and training for a minimal fee. Our approach is to work with you to build and improve on the systems that the audit may require.

What training do OH&S Committee co-chairpersons require?

According to the Saskatchewan Occupational Health & Safety Regulations, 1996, “At a place of employment where a committee is established, an employer or contractor shall ensure that the co-chairpersons of the committee receive training respecting the duties and functions of a committee.”

To fulfill this duty, SHSA recommends: Your Safety Committee and the Law training for your OH&S co-chairpersons, and any other committee members who are interested in this sort of training.

There are only a few staff members who use chemicals in our workplace; who needs WHMIS training, aside from them?

Any workers, “who work with, or in proximity to, a controlled product,” (Saskatchewan Occupational Health & Safety Regulations, 1996) must have WHMIS training. Even if you never touch the chemicals, if someone you work with uses them, or if you go into the same room in which chemicals are stored, you must receive WHMIS training.

This training must cover:

  • Supplier and workplace labels (content required, purpose, significance)
  • Material safety data sheets (content required, purpose, significance)
  • Necessary procedures for safe use, storage, handling, disposal, emergencies, and pollutants entering the air
  • All hazard information that the employer has received from the supplier, and any other hazard information that the employers knows, or ought to know

It is important to remember that WHMIS training must be site-specific. WHMIS training does not have an expiry date. It must be updated as often as necessary to ensure employee understanding and application. WHMIS for Managers and Supervisors covers everything you, as the employer, needs to know to be able to teach WHMIS to all your employees.

What is the difference between an audit and SHSA’s Safety Evaluation?

The purpose of an audit is to gather comprehensive information about all aspects of an organization’s safety management system, based on interviews, observation, and documentation. The SHSA Safety Evaluation covers the same information, but takes a more holistic approach. There is no score or grade, but the organization will be left with an overview of where they could improve and tips on how to do so. The benefit of the evaluation is that it is timely (2-6 hours, depending on size of organization), and that the results offer how to improve rather than just a report of what could be improved.

My employee is hurt, who decides when he/she comes back to work?

You do! The employee in question’s doctor will provide you with an outline of the employee’s physical restrictions (e.g. weight restrictions, hours of work), but it is up to you, the employer, to decide when they return. If you have modified duties prepared ahead of time, you can get them back to work as soon as you are aware of their physical capabilities.

We are a member of the represented rate codes, but we have no safety issues here. What is the purpose of having an OH&S Committee?

Your committee is not only there to solve issues, it is there to prevent them. Get your committee involved in proactive activities, such as inspections, revision of safety policies, and sharing information with the rest of your staff. Our Making Your Safety Committee Shine training provides guidance and ideas on how to get your committee involved to ensure that you remain safety issue, injury and fatality free!

We are not an Occupational Health & Safety “prescribed employer.” Why do I need a Safety Management System?

Having a comprehensive Safety Management System is not just a matter of law, it is best practice. Although many workplaces are not legally responsible for having a safety program, in order to keep your employees safe, and to fulfill your duties as employers, many of the same elements will be required. Keep in mind that the law is a minimum standard, and when best practice raises the bar, you are held to that higher standard. The raised requirements that you are expected to uphold will ensure the health, safety and well-being of all your employees.

What should a committee member do if they see people working unsafely?

Committee members do not have any added authority in that position. A committee member’s duty is to advise and recommend. They do have the responsibility however, as do all staff, to speak to anyone who is working unsafely, or to speak to their manager if they do not feel comfortable approaching the person directly. In our Your Safety Committee and Law training we cover direct, indirect, and root causes, how to prevent all causes of workplace injury and provide your organization insight into which staff members require additional safety training.

Do I need to have an Occupational Health & Safety Committee?

All workplaces in Saskatchewan who employ 10 or more employees must have an Occupational Health Committee. If you have a workplace of 10 or fewer please contact us at 306-522-5499 or 1-866-999-SHSA or email us for guidance and suggestions on how to engage every employee in their own workplace safety.

What is a “near miss”?

A “near miss” is an incident that does not result in an injury or property damage, but could have. For example, a bucket of water is left on the top step of a ladder and falls off. This makes a mess but no one is hurt. However, if someone had been walking by at the time, it could have fallen and hit someone on the head. Another example is a slippery/icy parking lot. Someone slips a little but doesn’t fall. They could have fallen and injured themselves, but by chance they did not. Our Incident Investigations & Inspections training helps you expose direct, indirect, and root causes. You will understand how to prevent all causes from ever happening again while tracking injury prevention and incident statistics, including near miss reporting.

What is “due diligence”?

“Due diligence is the level of judgement, care, prudence, determination, and activity that a person would reasonably be expected to do under particular circumstances.”
CCOHS website

What are my legal responsibilities regarding safety as a General or Senior Manager?

As senior management, you are ultimately responsible for the safety of everyone who is employed by your organization. In the event of a serious injury or incident, management at all levels can be held liable. This includes the direct supervisor, any middle managers they report to, and you – as the director of the organization. Our Supervisors Managing Safety and Safety Management Systems training covers everything you need to know.

For your legal responsibilities please refer to the Saskatchewan Occupational Health & Safety Act, 1993, Saskatchewan Occupational Health & Safety Regulations, 1996, and the Canadian Criminal Code for more information.

How do I get employees to talk to me about safety issues and concerns during an inspection?

The most important part of an inspection is talking to employees and management as you tour through your organization. Without that dialogue, you are only getting a tiny snapshot of what is going on, and could be missing the full story. Employees may be reluctant when you begin, so the important part is to keep going. Be consistent with monthly inspections when you are first starting out so you become more visible and accountable to all employees. Make sure that any concerns that are brought to you are handled as soon as possible, and the results are communicated and shown. If they are not bringing concerns to you, ask for their opinion on various matters (suggestion boxes, open emails), get them to help you inspect their area, use their expertise. Build a relationship of trust by demonstrating your credibility and honest concern with workplace safety. Our Incident Investigations & Inspections training offers perfect insight and guidance on how to effectively engage all members of your organization in safety.

Still have a question?

Please do not hesitate to contact us at 306-522-5499 or 1-866-999-SHSA or email us. We are happy to help you with any and all safety questions you may have!

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