Occupational Health and Safety Compliance Checklist
To ensure the safety of all workers on the job, workplaces must comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). Workplaces need to conduct their own occupational health and safety risk assessments to determine what risks exist within them; they also need to implement policies, procedures and protocols to mitigate these risks. In a midwifery clinic, safety measures include, but are not limited to, control of keys, management of visitors, infection control measures and smoke detectors.
The AOM has developed numerous resources to support Midwifery Practice Groups (MPGs) in implementing OHSA standards. Resources include general health and safety template policies and protocols and template protocols related to Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC). General health and safety policies and protocols can be found on the protocols page under the heading “Midwives Safety.” Template protocols for IPAC can be found on the protocols page under the heading “Infection Prevention and Control.”
- Appoint a health and safety representative or committee.
- For MPGs with 6 to 19 workers, identify a health and safety representative.
- For MPGs with 20 or more workers, develop a health and safety committee that includes at least two certified members: one worker and one management representative.
- Attend the Ministry of Labour’s free online training for health and safety representatives(optional).
- Display all mandatory Ministry of Labour posters.
- Adapt and print the AOM template Health and Safety Policy.
- Provide training on the handling of hazardous materials and equipment.
- Make available Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for cleaning products stored in the clinic and for products midwives carry in their bags (e.g., disinfectant wipes).
- Develop a code of conduct that conveys zero tolerance for harassment, discrimination and violence (see AOM poster).
- Adapt and print the AOM template Anti-Harassment and Anti-Violence Policy and Procedure; review it at minimum annually.
- Complete a Workplace Violence Survey to proactively identify, prevent and manage incidents of workplace or domestic violence that may impact work; share the results with the health and safety committee, the health and safety representative, or workers.
- Prepare and implement a program to control the identified risks of workplace violence, including bullying.
- Accept reports, investigate and respond to violence and harassment.
- Implement safety plans for all workers conducting home visits, working alone in the clinic, or faced with a risk of violence/aggression.
Infection Prevention and Control Risks
- Review and set expectations regarding not working when sick.
- Appoint one midwife to be the IPAC officer
- Print signage to screen for illness and place by reception in visible area.
- Adapt and utilize AOM template protocols, including:
- Risk Assessment
- Routine Practices
- Hand Hygiene
- Administrative Controls
- Waste Disposal
- Outbreaks and Pandemics
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Train workers so they know how to keep themselves safe.
- Recommend that all workers take the IPAC Core Competencies course, a free online course containing six 20-40 minute modules.
- Ensure that personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, gown, mask, eye protection) is visible and easily accessible in the care area and in all birth bags so midwives and students can protect themselves from occupational exposure to infectious diseases.
- Have a body fluid spill kit in a designated space in the clinic. The AOM template Body Fluid Spill Protocol includes a list of kit contents and cleanup procedure.
- Ensure sharps containers are never filled beyond the fill line, never stored with clean or sterile equipment, and are not accessible to children to prevent sharps injuries.
Other Risks Identified by MPG
- AOM’s template Office Cleaning Checklist
- AOM’s Midwifery Guide to Reprocessing
- Guide to the Occupational Health and Safety Act: provides an overview of the OHSA
- Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety: for resources related to health and safety (e.g., courses, services, mental health tips, etc.)
- The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Q&A page: to guide in prioritizing risk and conducting a risk assessment in the workplace.