Understanding PHSR’s

Pre-start Health and Safety Reviews were made mandatory for all businesses as of October 2000. PHSRs must be completed for any new or used process or equipment that has been installed or modified in a new or existing workplace.Many companies are unknowingly violating these regulations and are at risk of major fines.

WINTEK Engineering LTD. is here to help businesses:

  • Understand the PHSR process
  • Identify if they need to complete a PHSR
  • Explain the benefits of the PHSR process
  • Detail the consequences for not completing a PHSR when required
  • Explain how a company can obtain a PHSR

What is a Pre-start Health and Safety Review?

A PHSR is a specialized audit process that is designed to identify flaws in dedicated equipment and processes in an effort to keep businesses compliant with the Ontario Health and Safety Act.

Any proposed changes are presented to management and the Joint Health and Safety Committee to develop an action plan for eventual implementation.

What is the main purpose of a Pre-start Health and Safety Review?

It isn’t always possible for the government to keep track of every business, their processes, and the equipment they use. The PHSR process is used as a tool to help the government assess the overall compliance of these types of businesses.

When businesses purchase, repurpose, or modify new and used equipment, it can drastically alter the safety of that equipment. In many cases, equipment may be deemed unsafe for use by the government’s standards.

As health and safety continues to be an important issue, PHSRs are designed to improve the safety of new and used equipment, enhance the processes for using that equipment, and to educate a business and its operators on how to safely approach these processes and specific pieces of equipment.

A PHSR identifies problems and proposes actionable methods to solve them that focus on employee safety and well-being.

When are they actually required?

The Ontario government requires a PHSR to be completed when any process or piece of new or used equipment is moved to a new workplace. Special exemptions can be made, but you should contact your regulator to see if you qualify.

Who can perform a PHSR?

PHSR’s must be performed by a professional engineer that is registered within the Province of Ontario. The easiest way to complete a PHSR is to hire a reputable engineering firm as they typically offer them as part of their general engineering services. Any engineer providing a PHSR must hold a Certificate of Authorization issued by Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO).

In select rare cases, a competent technical person can complete them.

What are the major benefits of completing a PHSR?

  • They are required by the Ontario government. By completing one, you reduce the chances that you will be audited and fined for non-compliance.
  • Improve employee safety by creating processes and updating machinery for maximum safety.
  • Save time and money by improving your processes and machinery before they cause a costly workplace accident.
  • Lower insurance premiums due to safer equipment.

What happens if a PHSR isn’t completed?

There are many penalties associated with ignoring the PHSR process. Many businesses choose to ignore health and safety, electing to take a “head in the sand” approach. There are many risks for workplaces that follow the “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach.

If an employee reports your business, and it is determined that you are violating health and safety, in most cases, your manufacturing processes will be shut down until safety is improved and an engineer has signed off on it.

In these cases, there are several penalties that your business can incur. The most notable ones include fines from the government, civil fines for management, and even imprisonment if a serious injury occurs as a result of non-compliance.

How do you get started with a PHSR?

The quickest way to get a PHSR is to contact a credible engineering firm. Here at WINTEK Engineering, we have an entire team of senior engineers that have completed hundreds of PHSRs for businesses all throughout Ontario.

When you work with us, we help you identify problems, adopt actionable plans, and take the necessary steps to becoming compliant. Safety is often an afterthought until it becomes a serious issue. WINTEK Engineering helps you make safety a priority because safety violations are costly and a mistake not worth making.

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