As of October 7, 2000, the government amended the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) regulation concerning Pre-Development Reviews (PDRs). These changes are now formalized as Regulation 851, R.R.O. 1990 of the Industrial Establishments section of the OHSA. Employers are now required by law to perform Pre-Start Health and Safety Reviews (PHSRs) on qualifying new or modified equipment.
Prior to any worker being permitted to operate any machinery, equipment, or a process in a hazardous environment, an employer is responsible for ensuring that a thorough report is prepared that shows that the equipment is safe. This PHSR report is required to review all of the relevant regulations pertaining to that particular type of equipment.
PHSRs must be completed when:
As mandated by the OHSA, the review must be conducted by a Professional Engineer (licensed by the province) that possesses special expert or professional knowledge or qualifications.
As outlined by the regulations in the OHSA, there are certain exceptions whereby a PHSR conducted by a Professional Engineer is not required. In such situations, the employer is responsible for ensuring that an exemption is properly completed. This includes keeping and maintaining documents establishing the exemption, and making them readily accessible in the workplace for as long as the equipment remains in existence.
Upon the satisfactory completion of a PHSR, the employer is required to:
The criteria that triggers the requirement for a PHSR is fairly detailed, and varies depending on the circumstances. In industry, any equipment whether new or modified, fitted with the following protective elements usually requires a PHSR:
Some key points to consider during a PHSR are:
The above examples are only a select few that must be considered during a PHSR. An assessment of these types of applications would involve a review of established standards and regulations (i.e. ANSI, CSA, MOL, ISO, etc.) as well as the professional expertise and experience of the reviewer.
An owner, lessee, or employer, should follow a systematic procedure when considering any piece of equipment for a PHSR. An overview of this process is illustrated in the flow chart below. It is the obligation of the employer to follow the principles of due diligence and take all necessary steps to ensure safety.
Due diligence is a management strategy to protect workers and prevent accidents, as well as reduce financial and legal risk. It involves the establishment and maintenance of a corporate system that manages health and safety in the workplace. In exercising due diligence, an employer is essentially showing that they have taken all necessary and reasonable precautions to avoid a particular incident. Often, in a legal sense, due diligence is used as a successful defence; however, a statutory due diligence defence does not cover all charges under the OHSA. In other words, it is important for an employer to demonstrate the use of due diligence to ensure safety, but does not guarantee immunity from the regulations of the OHSA.
In cases where defences of due diligence have been successfully demonstrated, the accused party has:
An employer can facilitate the process of due diligence by hiring an outside consultant to provide assistance in analyzing equipment for inherent risks as well as performing risk assessments. Advanced Engineering Safety Inc. will provide an employer with these types of services, in addition to relieving some of the stress and liability normally associated with equipment safety.
While the main purpose of PHSRs is to ensure worker safety, there are certainly other benefits to consider, as seen in the illustration below.
Advanced Engineering Safety Inc. is dedicated to providing businesses with the expert professional knowledge necessary to achieve compliance with all obligatory regulations and standards. We will utilize our engineering expertise in both the automotive and manufacturing industries to provide our clients with Pre-Start Health and Safety Reviews, as well as innovative design solutions. Our goal is to provide you with all of the necessary services to assess your equipment systems for OHSA compliance, as well as design and implement the necessary changes for you to meet the applicable regulations. Advanced Engineering Safety Inc. will not only provide you with high quality, low cost services, but will give you the confidence that your workplace equipment is safe for your employees.
Advanced Engineering Safety Inc. holds a valid Certificate of Authorization through the Professional Engineers of Ontario. Each of our engineers is a licensed professional maintaining a valid P. Eng. designation in Ontario.
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