There are, unfortunately, no simple answers to this question. Depending on the circumstances leading to the incident, the employer might be partially or fully responsible for certain workplace accidents.
How the company handles accident factors into matters of liability as well.
As an employer, here are some things you can do to safeguard your employees and minimize liability in case an accident happens at your premises.
Assess Your Property
A quick way to pinpoint hazards at your company is by going through your premises with a keen eye. Look at everything from the entrance and walk through your offices, workshop and warehouses.
Everything from a security guard ladder that’s unfastened to loose wires and cords can be a hazard. Look into fixing any problem areas within your premises.
Familiarize With OH&S Laws
While most countries use OSHA laws, Canada’s equivalent to this is known as OH&S. Canada has fourteen jurisdictions; ten are provincial, three are territorial, and one is federal.
Each of these has its own occupational health and safety regulations. The majority of employees fall under provincial or territorial legislation.
Find out what these stipulations are and comply with them. Should an accident occur and these were flouted, the employer is liable.
Continuous Safety Training
Safety in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility. Socially responsible companies look to enhance safety and are big on prevention measures.
One way to do this is by conducting continuous safety training for employees. These should encompass staff members in all levels of employment and be conducted by a trained safety professional.
The best-placed people to point out hazards and flag safety issues are your workers.
A receptionist sitting in a neat office at the company headquarters is unlikely to have an idea of the hazards present in the company warehouse. The reverse is true as well.
When you are looking to make comprehensive safety training and institute safety measures, employee engagement is critical.
Build a work culture that encourages open communication. The channel of communication should not matter as long as the information is relayed.
From this, you can get in-depth feedback on safety matters that require attention.
OH&S has laid out protocols to be followed in case there is an incident. For an employer to protect themselves, these have to be followed to the latter.
Pay special attention to the reporting timelines and protocols stipulated in the safety laws in your jurisdiction.
Some of the considerations used to determine liability are actions you have taken or failed to take as an employer. The best thing you can do is follow safety guidelines, conduct safety training and make all reasonable efforts to provide a safe working environment.