Workplace Health & Safety

Workplace Health & Safety For Municipal Employees

Municipalities have a moral obligation based on the concepts that carry the quality of life for each other.  Society expects people in authority to protect their subordinates from harm.  On the workplace, this means that owners have the responsibility to take appropriate measures to protect their workers from illness or injury.  Workers, in turn, are responsible for cooperating with safety measures to safeguard themselves and their fellow workers.

No matter how high the level of commitment or how complete and appropriate the safety manual, a safety program cannot have an impact if the policies and procedures are not implemented in every area of operations and then constantly monitored to ensure compliance.

The personal safety and health of each Camrose County employee is of primary importance.  The prevention of occupationally induced injuries and illness is a high priority for management and by providing leadership, resources and direction, creates a healthier and safer work environment for all staff, contractors and the general public, controls the bottom dollar and maintains municipal leadership.

Safety Management Systems

The System

The County is committed to the implementation and enhancement of a Health and Safety Management System that safeguards employees, contractors, other workers who enter County property, visitors and the general public.  This Safety Management System was developed to reduce the occurrence and implications of work related injuries and illnesses, is the basis for the Health and Safety Program Manual, and is in accordance with the legislative requirements outlined in the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act, Regulation and Code, all other applicable legislation, the Internal Responsibility System and recognized industry standards.

The IRS

The Internal Responsibility System (IRS) is the people framework within the Health and Safety Management System and is the philosophy underlying the Canadian Occupational Health and Safety legislation.  The power of the IRS is that is captures the creativity, leadership, experience and knowledge of everyone within the organization.  Every staff member is in the best position to see how his or her own job could be improved; everyone does health and safety as an intrinsic and essential part of their work activities.

Safety …. is not something we do, it’s the way we do things!

The Camrose County Health and Safety Program is not simply a set of directions and rules, but is a hands-on, interactive system that requires the active participation from all employees to look at what they do, what can go wrong and what they can do to prevent it.  It is not a program manual developed to comply with legislation and then sit on a shelf gathering dust.  It has been developed so that employees and their co-workers can go home at the end of the day healthy and whole.

Living to work or Working to Live

Sometimes we forget that we go to work so that we can have a good quality of life, enjoy spending time with our family and friends and participating in the things we love to do.  Life is just too darn short to spend time injured, in pain, permanently disabled – or worse!  What are you working towards?!?!

Health and Safety Program Audits

The Partnerships Program

Camrose County is a member of the Partners’ In Injury Reduction Program (Partnerships), a joint venture between the Workers’ Compensation Board, Alberta Human Services – Occupational Health and Safety and the many provincial safety associations that act as certifying partners.  The Alberta Municipal Health and Safety Association (AMHSA) acts on behalf of Alberta’s municipalities.

Partnerships was created to encourage employers to implement safety management systems and assist in developing health and safety program documentation that meets a set standard and ultimately aids in reducing the occurrence and impact of work related injuries and illnesses.  An audit of the municipalities’ safety program is then conducted by a certified external auditor and if successful, the Province awards the municipality with a Certificate of Recognition (COR).  The COR is valid for three years providing annual internal maintenance audits are conducted in the two interim years.

The Partnerships’ audit is a comprehensive review of the municipalities’ safety management system to confirm it meets established Provincial standards, provides direction for improving the effectiveness of those systems and provides the municipality with an opportunity to earn special financial incentives.

The municipal Partnerships Program is administered by AMHSA.  Each participating municipality receives the services of one or more peer auditors; in return each municipality agrees to provide at least one of its own qualified auditors to conduct an audit of another municipality.  This peer auditing process provides municipalities with a cost effective means of confirming their safety management systems meet an established standard, provides an opportunity for networking and the sharing of ideas and strategies, and helps to prevent the safety program from becoming inactive, ineffective or obsolete.

For more information contact:

Linnet Henderson, CRSP  CHSC
Health & Safety Officer
780-672-4446

lhenderson@county.camrose.ab.ca