Trenchless Technology

Fall Canada 2018

Trenchless Technology is the premier communications vehicle for the trenchless industry. Through our multiple platforms, readers receive insights into the trenchless industry, as well as keep connected to the latest news, products and projects.

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W W W.T R E N C H L E S S T EC H N O LO GY.C O M/C A N A DA 27 Developing an impairment policy that takes a fit-to-work ap- proach to impairment, communicating the policy to workers, and applying it consistently can help employers manage their obligation to ensure workplace safety. "Fit to work" or "fitness to work" is an assessment done when an employer wishes to be sure an employee can safely do a specific job or task. Some elements of an effective policy could include: • Defining impairment. • Addressing impairment from all causes. • Stating if the item is allowed on premise, and if so, under what circumstances. • Educating workers on your policies and programs, and ways that the workplace can help and provide support, such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) • Training workers, supervisors and managers on how to identify signs of suspected impairment, and how to respond appropriately. • Describing when accommodation will be considered (for example, workers with medical needs or disabilities). • Explaining how disciplinary actions will be conducted, when necessary. Accommodation and Testing Employers have the duty to assess each situation and de- termine the effect on the workplace, and the possibility of fulfilling the duty to accommodate in terms of therapeutic use and disability due to substance dependence. Base accom- modation plans with the assistance of a medical assessment, and develop the plans collaboratively with the employee. Testing employees for substances typically reveals only the presence of the substance, not the level of impairment. Human rights legislation generally does not support testing. Employers should seek legal advice before testing workers for substances, and supervisors and employees should be educated and trained on current policies, programs and rec- ognizing impairment in others. Addressing potential impairment from cannabis is part of a workplace's hazard assessment process. Reducing the impact of impairment on the workplace requires having the appropriate mechanisms in place, pro- viding clear guidance to all workplace parties, and applying workplace policies and programs using a fair and consistent approach. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) promotes the total well-being — physical, psychosocial and mental health — of workers in Canada by providing information, training, education and management systems and solutions that support health and safety programs and the prevention of injury and illness.

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