We can help you manage the requirements of Alberta’s new OH and S regulations
Alberta’s revised provincial Occupational Health and Safety regulations come into place on June 1, 2018. This is the biggest set of changes we’ve seen to the Occupational Health and Safety Act in a number of years. There are a range of updates, revisions and amendments which are likely to have an impact on just about every employer in the province in one way or another. You’ll find full details of what’s new and what’s changed on the Government of Alberta web site at www.alberta.ca, but in general the revised regulations place an increased focus on the employer’s responsibility to ensure the safety of his or her employees by creating and maintaining safe work environments.
According to the province “changes to the OHS Act improve the OHS system to better protect workers and ensure they have the same rights and protections as other Canadian workers.”
We are here to help
A particular area of concern for a great many employers is ensuring the safety of those on their staff who work alone. As an employer you have an obligation to ensure that workers have “an effective means of communication between the worker and persons capable of responding to the worker’s needs in case of an emergency or if the worker is injured or ill.” That sounds a little wordy, but it makes sense really. If something goes wrong at a work site when there’s no one else around then there is no back up, no available assistance and nobody to call for help. And a surprising number of Albertans often do find themselves working alone, whether they think of themselves as a lone worker or not.
A useful definition of a lone worker is when the employee is on their own, when they cannot be seen or heard by another person, and when they cannot expect a visit from another worker within a reasonable period of time. When you think about it, that definition would cover a great number of us. The list of lone workers would include truck and taxi drivers, battery operators and others in the oil and gas industry, clerks in retail stores or service attendants in gas stations, realtors, plumbers and electricians and many, many more. Almost anyone can find themselves working in isolation for all or at least part of their working day. In fact, according to Work Safe Alberta, almost every employer in the province will have staff who at some point find themselves working alone, even if it’s not part of their day-to-day routine.
Here’s what we can do at Intercon Messaging to help keep lone workers safe and to keep you in compliance with the new provincial regulations. We are not offering a one size fits all solution. It’s important for us to be able to adapt to meet the specific needs of you and of your business. Our professionally-trained client care team will work with you and your employees to develop an effective and reliable employee safety program which respects and makes accommodations for the daily work routine of your employees while providing them with around the clock work alone safety monitoring that runs for 24 hours a day and for 365 days of the year.
Here are just a few examples of how we can do that.
To help ensure the safety of those who find themselves working in isolation, Intercon Messaging has introduced the I.M. OK work alone app. This app is exactly what it sounds like. That’s to say that it’s a cell phone application which tracks the user throughout the day by following his or her cellular data. Your employee then simply has to check in by clicking through the app on a prearranged schedule which lets us know that all is well. And that’s all there is to it. If someone misses a scheduled check in Intercon will take the necessary follow up action as laid out by your previously determined instructions. What that means is that the I.M. OK app offers you a quick and easy way of insuring that anyone who is working alone is in good shape and, most importantly, a way of finding out quickly if something has gone wrong. It doesn’t matter where your employee might be working, as soon as they have cell service the app will find them. And our lone worker app is compatible with Apple, Android and a number of other operating systems. Perhaps best of all, with the I.M OK work alone app there is no expensive equipment to buy and no complicated software to install. You just set it up, download it to a cell phone, and you’re good to go.
But if the idea of a lone worker app isn’t appealing to you for whatever reason, there’s always another option. We can arrange for regularly scheduled one-to-one voice or two way radio calls between your employees and one of our customer service agents to ensure everything is going well at any time of the day or night, and on any day of the year. And we can work with you to schedule those regular check ins so they meet or exceed the standards set out in the provincial government regulations while keeping interruptions to the work flow and daily routine of your staff to an absolute minimum.
And remember, whether you choose to use the app or person to person check in, our doors are always open and our phones are always answered. We operate 24/7/365 so you can count on Intercon Messaging to be there when you need us.
If you have drivers out on the province’s highways or back roads you can go a long way toward ensuring their safety by knowing exactly where they are and when they can be expected to arrive at their destination. And if something has gone wrong, you want to be the first to know. At Intercon Messaging we can monitor your fleet using live GPS tracking. Live GPS tracking uses satellite technology and allows a company to locate any and all of their vehicles instantaneously no matter where they are located. That means if you’ve lost contact with a member of your team you can quickly determine where he or she is and how long he’s been there. And because it’s satellite-based it works even in those areas where there is no reliable cell phone coverage available. And if your employee’s vehicle is on the move you’ll be able to determine what direction it’s heading in and even how fast it’s travelling. And there’s an added benefit to GPS tracking that’s not directly related to safety. Using GPS can help to limit theft, reduce fuel costs due to inefficient routing and bring down the price of vehicle insurance.
And then there’s reporting. As with any government regulations, you may well be asked to provide proof that you are in compliance with the new Occupational Health and Safety rules. At Intercon Messaging we can provide you with detailed logs and tracking reports of calls, texts or emails as well as check ins and check outs. That means that when the provincial inspector comes calling, you’ll be able to give him all the historical and background information he needs both quickly and painlessly.
So there you are, at Intercon Messaging we can help to ensure that your staff who are working alone have a worthwhile a productive day and most importantly, that they get home safely. Our team of trained and dedicated customer service representatives are here to provide you with consistent, high quality service, reliability and above all, peace of mind.
For more information on how Intercon Messaging can help you ensure employee safety, help to build your business or on any other service that we offer, give us a call at 866 605 2558 or request a quote.