Hazards, Incidents, and Accidents

Critical Injuries

  • Place life in jeopardy.
  • Make someone unconscious.
  • Result in a substantial loss of blood.
  • Cause an arm or leg to break.
  • Cause the amputation of a leg, arm or foot.
  • Cause burns to a major portion of the body.
  • Cause the loss of sight in an eye.

[As defined in the OHSA.]

Here we identify definitions of hazards, incidents, and accidents, as well as the special circumstances defined as "critical injuries." We also identify the appropriate response and reporting requirements applicable to each situation.

Fundamentally, hazards, incidents, and accidents represent potentially dangerous situations of varying seriousness.

Hazards

A hazard is any situation with the potential to cause harm. Examples could include:

  • cords posing a tripping risk
  • water on the floor posing a slipping risk
  • keyboards situated such that they pose a risk of repetitive strain injury

Hazards should be identified and corrected. Report even minor hazards to a supervisor. This ensures supervisors remain aware of the hazards encountered in their facilities, and helps to identify recurrent problems.

Incidents

Incidents represent situations which have the potential to cause harm to a person or damage equipment or property.

Examples may include:

  • a vessel pressurized to a point nearing rupture
  • operating equipment without utilizing the required guards or personal protective equipment

In the event of an incident, an Incident Report must be completed and filed with the EHSS. The report should be completed by the supervisor or a responsible designate, with assistance from the workers involved. Reports must be filed with IRM as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours.

Accidents

Accidents are incidents which occur and result in harm to a person or damage to equipment or property.

Examples might include:

  • Trips or falls causing injury.
  • Explosion or implosion of a pressurized vessel (e.g. peroxide decomposition inside a closed container).
  • Chemical spills (e.g. a dropped bottle).
  • Injuries occurring while machining.
  • Activities or equipment failure causing fire or property damage.

In the event of an accident, an Incident Report must be completed and filed with the EHSS. The report should be completed by the supervisor or a responsible designate, with assistance from the workers involved. Reports must be filed with IRM as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours.

Certain severe accidents may fit the definition of a "critical injury." Any critical injury requires special reporting and investigation, and must be escalated to the Ministry of Labour. Critical injuries are defined as injuries that:

  • Place life in jeopardy.
  • Make someone unconscious.
  • Result in a substantial loss of blood.
  • Cause an arm or leg to break.
  • Cause the amputation of a leg, arm or foot.
  • Cause burns to a major portion of the body.
  • Cause the loss of sight in an eye.

In the event of a critical injury:

  • If safe to do so, immediately provide first aid.
  • Dial "80" to request emergency assistance.
  • Inform the appropriate supervisor of the accident as soon as reasonably possible. Unless necessary for purposes of providing first aid, do not disturb the scene, as it will need to be investigated.
  • The supervisor must immediately inform the EHSS, who will provide assistance with investigation and reports.