Carleton Place’s Community Issues Committee heard March 21 that an external consultant conducting a five-year review of the Town’s health and safety program issued a failing grade. Although most of the deficiencies noted by the audit were deemed “administrative,” Chief Administrative Officer Paul Knowles acknowledged that improvements must still be made to the current health and safety regime.
“It’s somewhat disappointing because we put a fair bit of effort into this, but this is why we bring in a consultant from the outside who can point to things that are changing in the health and safety environment,” he said. “It’s a little bit comforting that there was no evidence that any workers are working unsafely. The issues were about not using an up-to-date form to fill in a report, not filing a report in the right place, or not following up on some of the paperwork as well as we need to. It may not sound serious, but it is what we are supposed to be doing, and we need to address that.”
Among the improvements recommended by the audit are revised workplace violence and harassment policies, as well as site-specific workplace violence programs. Workers at each location will have their health and safety representatives come up with their own programs and review them with staff.
Since the release of the audit, town staff have circulated items found to be non-compliant to managers in their respective departments, with the expectation that a June 14 follow-up meeting will explore progress and review any outstanding issues from the audit.