New Island business strives to improve health and safety in the workplace

MANITOULIN—Meredith Chandler of Kagawong has launched a new business, Health and Safety Matters, which aims to help Manitoulin businesses and organizations by improving workplace safety.

“I know from past experiences that it can be difficult to establish health and safety regulations in the workplace,” said Ms. Chandler of her new venture. “My hope is that I can help with the learning curve and assist businesses and organizations establish health and safety programs, or if they have a good foundation, update or improve their program.”

Ms. Chandler said her focus is to assist organizations in gaining a better understanding of the legislated requirements, more specifically, how current safety laws apply to their particular business.

“Almost every workplace, employer, supervisor and worker in Ontario is covered by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations,” explained Ms. Chandler. “My goal is to ensure your organization is compliant through the development, implementation and maintenance of an effective, dynamic Health and Safety Program. Whether you are starting from scratch, or perhaps require updating to your present system, no job is too big or too small when it comes to protecting your greatest asset—people.”

Ms. Chandler stressed that she is not a “safety enforcer” and that she won’t be judging workplace safety. “My intent is to work on behalf of the employers/owners/supervisors to ensure a program that meets legislated requirements,” she said.

To make things easier for employers, Ms. Chandler has become an instructor for the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).

“I know many programs offer this required training online, which is convenient in remote areas, however I feel the on-site instruction offers many worthwhile benefits,” Ms. Chandler shared. “The program I instruct includes both the original WHMIS 1988, as well as the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) implemented in February 2015. The GHS is an international system and is mandated to be fully incorporated in Canada by 2018. During this transition stage, employers, supervisors and workers (all relevant parties within the organization) are to be trained in both.”

Ms. Chandler has 22 years of experience with health and safety regulations. She has worked in the construction industry for several years and more recently in the industrial and mining industry.

“I am the mother of two young workers, and as such, I have a particular interest in promoting awareness regarding workplace parties’ rights and responsibilities,” she said of her passion for workplace safety. “I always ask myself, ‘would I leave my son or daughter at this site and walk way feeling secure that they will come home at the end of the shift?’ If it’s not safe enough for them, it’s not safe enough for anyone else’s loved ones either.”

Training is available daytime or evening at the employer’s convenience. To book training or assistance for your organization’s health and safety needs, call Meredith Chandler at 705-282-7468.

Meredith Chandler of Health and Safety Matters.

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