Health and Safety Program

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Free Geek Toronto Health and Safety Implementation Program revised Dec 1, 2013

The intent of this program is to outline the details to effectively implement the Occupational Health and Safety Policy. While not comprehensive, it seeks to provide a working framework whereby all staff and volunteers may be aware of their responsibility to pay attention to their own and others' safety and to consistently apply best practices with regards to any work performed on site.

(Note: The term “Worker” shall refer not only to paid staff but also to any and all volunteers.)

1. Worker Orientation and Training

Before a new worker is assigned to a task, it is the responsibility of management to ascertain if the worker has any limitations or health concerns (Examples: back injuries, vision or hearing issues, etc.). It is also the joint responsibility of such new workers to be forthcoming in advising management of any such limitations. Health and safety is a joint responsibility for all concerned.

Work tasks will then be allocated with any such limitations in mind to minimize or obviate any such limitations.

New workers shall be assigned to and paired up with an experienced worker who has already performed the tasks to be done. Firstly, they shall be shown the proper use of tools and machinery before any work commences. They shall also be instructed in the requirements and use of protective equipment, and where such equipment may be stored (Examples: Safety Glasses, gloves, etc).

Appropriate warning signage shall be posted in the workplace to promote health and safety procedures (Example: Safety Glasses Required)

From time to time, it will be necessary to create or revise new procedures or workflows for activities. It is the responsibility of management to ensure that complete information on any such procedures or workflows is posted and distributed as appropriate.

Special Note: Any worker under the age of 16 years must have a parent or guardian in attendance when performing tasks on site.

2. Workplace Inspection and Risk Analysis

A Joint Health and Safety Committee consisting of one member of paid management or staff, plus one volunteer shall conduct a walk around inspection of all work areas at least weekly, so as to identify any risks or hazards to health and safety. They shall also document any issues or concerns with regards to operational procedures or workflows and also ensure that all safety equipment and First Aid Kit supplies are properly maintained at appropriate levels .

The JHSC shall provide a report to the Executive Director itemizing and describing their findings, along with recommendations to rectify inadequacies or enhance health and safety.

It shall be the responsibility of the Executive Director to action any such findings with the objective of continuous improvement of worker health and safety.

Should the JHSC be unsatisfied with the action taken by the Executive Director, within a reasonable time, they shall be permitted to escalate concerns to the Board of Directors, without fear of reprisal.

The Board of Directors shall be the final arbitor in this regard and may or may not order any additional changes as appropriate.

Results of all weekly inspections and any outstanding items shall be prominently posted in the affected workplace area for all to see.

3. Accident and Illness Reporting


Should an accident occur, the individual involved or other individual(s) who witness an accident must immediately inform available management.

It is management's responsibility to both provide First Aid Kits to all work areas and to assist individuals who may require minor first aid.

Should the accident require more than what a First Aid Kit can accommodate, assistance must be called upon from other appropriate responders (eg. Building Property Management, calling for an ambulance, etc)

In all cases, the accident must be documented and forwarded to the Executive Director, who shall maintain file records of all such instances and report regularly to the Board of Directors.


Any worker who feels ill when on the job must report this to management.

Any worker who is unable to attend on their assigned time must advise management as soon as possible in advance, so that alternate arrangements may be made.

Attention should be paid to whether or not the illness occurs because of any workplace environmental concerns and if found to be locally caused, corrective action must be taken.

4. Occupational Health and Safety Budget

The Board of Directors shall ensure that an adequate Occupational Health and Safety budget category is determined annually, such that it addresses all appropriate needs.

This shall include, for example: Sufficient funds for required protective and safety equipment or supplies; Sufficient funds for appropriate Health and Safety signage Sufficient funds to ensure that at least one worker receives formal Occupational Health and Safety training certification each year

5. Communicating Health and Safety Concerns

The Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) consisting of one member of paid management or staff, plus one volunteer, as described in section 2 shall be the normal conduit for communicating health and safety concerns.

However, this does not negate the joint responsibility of every worker to assist in identifying risks and alerting others to workplace dangers.

Management shall ensure that a bulletin board is installed in each work area so that such communication may be formalized; Example – posting a new procedure or workflow requirement to communicate to all workers.

6. Material Handling Practices and Procedures

Note: No open toed shoes or sandals are permitted in the workplace at any time.

Tools: Hand tools shall be kept on the appropriate storage racks when not in use Pallet Trucks: Must be kept in storage places allocated when not in use. Metals: Handling metals has the danger of sharp edges. Use protective gloves. Plastics: Be careful not to break as pieces can injure eyes. Monitors: Must NOT be taken apart at any time. Printers: Be careful that any laser toner cartridges do not leak. Dispose of broken cartidges using gloves and place in bags for proper disposal.

7. Maintenance and Repairs

It is the responsibility of everyone to pay attention to the equipment they work with. Should there be a problem or defect, it must be reported immediately to management, who shall take corrective actions as appropriate.

All equipment, machinery and tools must be maintained in good condition and returned to appropriate storage when not in use.

8. Housekeeping

All workers must practice good housekeeping; that is, no items may be left in places where they might cause an accident or hazard and the workplace areas must be kept clean and tidy.

9. Protective Equipment

Since Free Geek Toronto does a great deal of dismantling of electronic equipment, using screwdrivers, pliers, hammers and chisels – it is extremely important that all workers maintain a “Safety First” attitude.

To insure worker safety, the following protective equipment is supplied:

- Safety Glasses - Safety Gloves - Back Support Belts - Hard Hats - Spill Kit

10. Emergency Procedures

In the event of an emergency, call 911 immediately.

11. First Aid and Assistance Procedures

First Aid Kits shall be supplied in each respective group work area.

12. Electrical Safety

Since Free Geek Toronto utilizes various electrical and testing equipment, appropriate caution must be exercised when performing tasks. Do NOT work on open casings when power is turned on. Do NOT have any spillable liquids on or near any electronic equipment.

13. Fire Prevention

Fire Extinguishers of appropriate types shall be supplied in each respective group area. They shall be routinely inspected to ensure they are properly charged

Management shall hold fire drills from time to time as appropriate.

A floor layout plan shall be posted prominently near each group work area exit showing evacuation routes in case of emergency.

Storage materials shall not be stacked any higher in any room that a minimum of 18” from the ceiling or sprinkler systems.

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