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Voices of our Nation

The most boring article on Fire Safety in the Workplace

Fire prevention is an important component of workplace health and safety programs. An effective fire prevention program provides employees with the tools and information needed to work safely, and protect the workplace and employees from the devastation of fire. Human personnel, property, and environmental losses can have a significant negative impact on workplace ‘production, morale, and continued expectations of success. The damage resulting from even a small fire incident can be detrimental to a workplace’s ability to remain in business.

There is specific legislation about fire prevention in the Canadian provinces. There are fourteen jurisdictions in Canada. One federal jurisdiction, ten provincial, and three territorial. Each with occupational health and safety legislation. This legislation outlines the general rights and responsibilities of the employer, the supervisor, and the worker.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act, gives the Government of Ontario the power to make regulations while also setting out the general principles and duties for workplaces. The Ontario Fire Code is a regulation made under the Fire Protection and Protection and Prevention Act, consisting of the minimum requirements for fire safety within workplaces.

The business owner is responsible for complying with the Ontario Fire Code. The Building Code Act is the legislative framework governing the construction, renovation, and uses of workplaces. The purposes of the Ontario Building Code include public health, safety, and fire prevention; although, its primary purpose is the promotion of public safety through the application of building standards. The Ontario Electrical is intended to ensure safety considerations and protections for workplaces keep pace with the new technology and building needs.

All workplace personnel have a role to play in ensuring health and safety requirements are met within the workplace. Workplace assessments can be useful in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of employees and employers in a workplace. The reason for fire risk assessments is to keep people safe. By establishing current risks and possible barriers to safety, solutions can be found before an emergency situation occurs. It will be more difficult to develop during a life-threatening fire event, especially when barriers to safety arise.

Analyzing the issues and factors that are creating the current issues in your workplace helps to develop effective solutions to accomplish workplace goals and to allow the workplace to become more successful. Accommodations for employees, if needed, ensure the health and safety of each employee including those persons with disabilities. Workplaces should be responsible for complying with safety regulations and guidelines to ensure a better opportunity for a successful workplace.

Sources:
Canada Acts and Regulations
Fire Safety Procedures For The Workplace
The Effectiveness of Workplace Assessments

This article was written by volunteer blogger Shan Simpson and edited by volunteer editor Scott Jacobsen.

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Voices of our Nation

Seasonal employment’s effect on employee absenteeism

Employee burnout is considered as when employees have exhausted their physical or emotional strength. Employee burnout generally happens as the result of extended stress or frustration. Stressful jobs, lack of workplace support and resources, along with short deadlines, can all contribute to employee burnout. The seasons of the year can have an effect on the performance level of employees. Burnout can also occur when employees’ have high expectations of themselves or when an employee has stressful personal circumstances. Burned-out employees can be costly in terms of productivity, and if burned-out employees quit, there are costs of replacement searches and job training for workplaces.

Employee burnout cannot always be prevented, but it can be managed. Full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees can each present unique challenges that employers need to address effectively. Workplaces should understand the reasons for the burnout for their employers and employees. Workplace burnout is often still perceived as carrying a stigma, so staff may be reluctant to seek help at an early stage. Employers and employees should work together to find effective solutions to workplace problems such as burnout. A study of Canadian employees found that an increased salary, improving morale and employees being recognized for their accomplishments were the best ways for employers to improve their work satisfaction.

Absenteeism is an employee’s intentional or excessive absences from work. Some common causes of absenteeism include burnout, stress, depression, illness, harassment and work related injuries. Frequent employee absences can also have a major effect on workplace finances and workplace morale. While employers expect workers to miss a certain number of work days each year, many absences can cause decreased productivity. Seventy-five percent of Canadian employees studied considered the office as the most productive place to get work done. Sixty-eight percent of these Canadians felt that an increase in temperature was a contributing factor to employee burnout. Forty-three percent of Canadians have reported that they are working longer hours simply to catch up on work they couldn’t accomplish during an eight-hour day especially during the summer months.

Employers need to understand the laws governing the various types of employment for the different types of employees. Seasonal work has been an important aspect of the Canadian labour market throughout Canada’s history. However, employee performance can still be affected even when employees are only exposed to extreme temperatures for brief periods of time. Employers should be aware that completing certain tasks may be more challenging for disabled or elderly employees and make reasonable accommodations to assist their employees in completing their assigned tasks. Employers also must take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety and health of their employees.

Sources:
Absenteeism: What’s Missing in Canadian Labour?
Business Advantage Canada
Causes of Absenteeism
Causes of Employee Burnout
Statistics Canada

This article was contributed by volunteer blogger Shan Simpson.