Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Naming unsafe employers

One way to pressure employers to comply with the law is to publicly name them. This allows workers to know if an employer is unsafe. It also tells prospective customers about whether an employer operates safely or not. All told, a fairly low-cost enforcement mechanism.

I've dropped this idea into several interviews I've done this week but so far no one has really picked up the idea. I was on David Doorey's blog this afternoon and see that Ontario has a bad employer's list for its employment standards violators.

This seems like an easily adopted idea in Alberta: every employer who is inspected and is found in violation of the OHS Code goes up on the wall of shame for a month or two. There is precedent for this. Alberta Health Services posts restaurant inspection reports for the Edmonton areas on line.

Surely whether an employer provides fall protection is as important as whether the water in your favourite eatery's the taps is hot enough. And surely inspection reports could be ported across from the government's safety database to the web quite easily.

-- Bob Barnetson

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