"The Great Atlantic and Pacific Company of Canada is committed to providing both employees and customers with a safe and healthy working and shopping environment. All reasonable efforts will be made to eliminate hazardous conditions and unsafe practices from the workplace". We will be examining how Dominion takes precaution to protect workers, provides information, instruction and supervision to workers to protect their health and safety, and how they advise workers of potential or actual hazards in the workplace and how to deal with them. We will also look at the actions taken when there is an accident, and audits and inspections that are involved to protect and correct areas in the company.
Taking precaution in circumstances for the protection of a worker is accomplished through many different ways. For example, Dominion provides the butchers with metal gloves and aprons to protect them from a knife slipping and cutting them. The also provide the Photo lab with protective goggles, a splatter apron and plastic gloves to protect them from having hazardous chemicals spilling on them that may cause serious damage to their skin or eyes. To protect their workers and customers we wet floor signs are provided to warn people to walk with caution. The employees are provided with clip-on ties, which is a cautionary measure that is taken so that we are not strangled if our ties get caught. Every department has an eye wash station and a first aid kit that are provided so that an injury may be given attention to right a way to prevent any further damage.
Taking precaution helps to minimize accidents and protects the employer because the equipment is provided and therefore should be use, and if the equipment is not used and training was provided then that employee is at fault. The employees are provided with information, instruction and supervision to protect their health and safety. Some examples are the signs that are posted up in our lunch room and in our departments to keep us informed and reminded about the proper ways of lifting heavy items, proper standing posture, and exercises that can be done to reduce injury. We are also provided with WHIMS, food handling and cooking training to protect our employees and customers.
WHIMS" training is for our photo lab employees that are dealing with the chemicals from the machine. The fool handling and cooking training is provided to all the employees that work with foods. Managers are also there to protect and correct our actions that we may be taking that could harm us in some way. We also have a health and safety committee that meets once a month to go over the accidents that occurred and how they could have been prevented. They are also there to remind employees of unsafe actions that they may be taking during their work.
For example, if someone from the health and safety committee sees that you are using a milk crate instead of a step stool they will remind you of the purpose of using a step stool and why the milk crate is so unsafe to use. Supplying employees with information, supervision and instructions on health and safety helps to minimise accidents and protect the workers from serious dangers that may occur just from handing a situation in the wrong way. Advising workers of any potential or actual hazards in the workplace and how to deal with them is done in many different areas. First, our photo lab is enforced to label all chemicals and keep them in a locked chest so that we can identify them in a case of a spill. Second, warning signs are place on bailers and compactors to instruct workers on how to operate the equipment properly and of any potential hazards that may be involved. We are also not allowed to use any cleaning supplies other than the ones that are supplies to us from head office.
The reason is so that we know what is in these products and in case of contact with our eyes, we know what is in the product and how to treat the injury. Advising workers on what is in the store and how to deal with a problem is very important in reducing injury and helping us to deal with problems if they were to occur. Informing workers of what chemicals and dangers that are around the work place helps to reduce the number of accidents and miss use of items. The actions taken when a customer or worker is injured is very important and must be complete immediately. Dominion has 3 types of incidents and accidents form.
The first type is the customer incidents and accidents form. This form is completed when there is a personal injury, a product damage, bleach or property damage. A personal injury is when the customer is injured within our store. A product damage is when a product purchased from our store and caused damage such as an illness.
A bleach damage is when bleach is involved in the incident, for example when bleach leeks in a car we are responsible for the damages. A property damage is when damage occurs to a vehicle due to a shopping cart for instance. There are two other forms that are completed when there is an employee accident. The first form was just introduce this year which is an incident details for first aid only. This form is only a one-page form, which is filled out if the worker does not go to the Doctor.
This form allows us to report first aid incident in a more convenient and faster way. The second form is completed when the worker must seek medical attention. The employee, any witnesses, and the doctor must fill out this form. Our duty managers are informed and responsible of making sure that all accidents are reported and filled to our head office. The store manager is then to follow up within 24 hours of the accident.
These procedures help to protect Dominion from claims that may be made following any accident. Our accidents for this year is very bad, we have approximately 2 employees accidents every month. Our head office audits Dominion every year and it may also have an inspection by the Ministry of Health at any time. The head office audit is very extensive and important to the company. The audit is done on every department and every area of that department.
For example, the bakery department is audited on the cooler cleanliness and temperature, the prep area cleanliness and use of gloves in preparing foods, the cleanliness of the mixers and authorised chemicals for cleaning. The report is then given to the store manager and it is then his responsibility to have the areas cleaned up that may need the attention. Our last audit was done February 3, 1999 and our store rating was a pass, which is 94-85%. The number one concern was the use of J cloths for cleaning, and deep cleaning was required in our bakery and meat department. Once our manger received this audit we had to complete the corrective action and keep up with this action. The Ministry of Health also inspects us; our last inspection was on May 3, 1999.
There were 5 items that were not in compliance, and were corrected immediately. These audits and inspections are reassuring to the worker to know that we are working in a healthy environment and they also remind us of the correct ways of cleaning and handling foods. Overall Dominion complies with the occupational health and safety act. However there are a few issues. First our health and safety committee does not recognise some of the actions that are taken by employees that may be dangerous. For instance, our grocery department will stand on our product trucks so that they can reach the top shelf.
They will also wheel themselves down the isle so that they do not have to get up and down from a stool. This I find is very unsafe and our store manger does not say anything to these employees nor does our health and safety committee. This sort of action should not be allowed and there should be consequences if you are caught using the trucks in that matter. The manger does not take health and safety seriously until head office comes into the store and this really effects how others look at the matter.
If the manger will not participate in making sure that the employees are following correct procedure then how is the health and safety committee suppose to enforce things. We are a very clean store and this is due to the audit and inspections. If it were not for these audits I could see our store falling into a bad situation. It is reassuring that there is a responsibility put on the manger to comply with regulation and procedures so that we do work in a safe and healthy environment.