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  • Writer's pictureDealerPILOT HR

The danger is in the details

As we continue our focus on safety, more and more situations that are brought forward could have been avoided by paying closer attention to the details. This is true for fines, but also for best practice and regular operational safety.

In Ontario, two recent penalties with high fines and serious harm could have been avoided through something as simple as a checklist.

A workplace fatality ( and fine of $120,000) for a 2019 incident would have been avoided by having a supervisor ensure that they employee was aware of all the correct steps in the task. The supervisor failed to directly instruct the employee to provide bracing for a slab and it resulted in a fatality. This could have possibly been avoided by providing a task checklist, ensuring instructions were voiced back to the supervisor in detail and/or just slowing down and being sure that all elements are shared clearly. The second incident was a $25,000 fine ( and a 25% victim surcharge) for failing to notify an inspector of a critical injury. This is another instance of having a checklist and/or slowing down to pay close attention to all the required steps would have potentially eliminated a penalty.

This attention to detail is critical in almost every part of a safe work environment, it isn't just about penalties and injuries. It is also about best practice. Although not a regulatory body, the International Safety Equipment Association ( ISEA) has made changes to their recommendations for first aid kits. Sounds like a small detail, doesn't it?

These recommendations are often the predecessors to legal requirements and are also generally built on a foundation of significant research and assessment. The new standard adds the inclusion of foil blankets and provided additional guidance on designated bleeding kits. This change also lends itself to a great reminder- when was the last time your first aid kit was replenished and assessed for functionality? Although kits may be inspected routinely, they also should be checked for expired or damaged supplies, lack of important supplies beyond the compliance requirements and functionality for your business. This includes noting the details of what gets used often, what should not have been used and may be missing as well as what has not been used and might have expired.

If your first aid kt is often "raided" for tiny band aids for papercuts, then reassessing your supply may be in order. Has your first aid kit been depleted of a barrier device or eye patch but no one has reported an injury, this may be a red flag. Remember it also isn't just about what is there, but what condition it is in. Are your tweezers rusty? Are your safety pins so bent they no longer close? These are the details that don't seem important but when the time comes, they may be the things that matter the most.

Do you need resources and technology to help support improving your own safety program? We can help! Contact us at to find out more about the resources and programs available to dealerships to ensure a safe workplace.

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