But if history is any indication, USW may face significant challenges.
In a number of OHS prosecutions over the years, the prosecutors were much more focused on securing a conviction and extracting a large fine, than it was on remedying the underlying cause of the unsafe act and/or worker injury. They relied on blunt instrument of general deterrents to justify this approach.
Ross Armstrong doesn’t pretend to be a chemical expert. The safety supervisor at Boart Longyear Canada has developed a keen eye for spotting important health data on a material safety data sheet (MSDS) over the years, and the workers come to him when they have concerns about chemicals used at the plant. Still, he’s no chemist and he "has no problem finding out" all he can about these substances.
Health and safety experts outline some basic steps to follow for safer chemical handling in the workplace.