How a Professional Engineer is Expected to Address a PHSR Request.
The process usually starts by a request from an owner or lessee of an existing or new process, equipment or machine requiring guarding, a rack, a lifting device, potentially explosive process, the use of a dust collector, an establishment that handles molten metal or a process where workers may be exposed to designated substances.
The reason for the request would be compliance with the OHSA & Regulations or an order from the Ministry of Labour.
The engineer would ask for data of the equipment or process which includes but not limited to:
Equipment manufacturer’s specifications
Electrical drawings (Schematics).
Hydraulic or pneumatic drawings (schematics).
Guards and safety controls added to the existing equipment
Any hazard or risk assessment carried out by or for the client.
Any history of incidence on an existing equipment.
Photos, video etc.
In some cases, the client would not have some or all the data required.
The engineer would then determine the engineering discipline(s) required to address the situation and visit the establishment and review the equipment.
Should an existing hazard be clear to the engineer(s), the client is advised in writing to stop work on the equipment until the hazard is addressed and mitigated.
Should measurement and tracing of the wiring, pneumatic or hydraulic system is required, or other information that will require investigating the equipment or process, the engineer would advice the client that the lock-out of the process or machine would be required until such information is obtained.
If testing of the equipment or process is required, the engineer must ensure that the testing would not affect the health and safety of the workers conducting the test(s).
In some instances, such as with new equipment, a site visit may not be required if the complete data required for the review is available.
The PSR report, required from the engineer(s) would establish and describe the hazard and provide the recommended means of addressing such hazard.
The owner or lessee would submit the report to the Health & Safety Committee or representative and alternate means or methods to address the hazards may be implemented.
Or, upon request, the engineer submits documents establishing an exemption to the requirement to conduct a PSR.
— Ralph Balbaa M.Eng., P.Eng., is a health and safety expert with more than 40 years of engineering experience and a former Ministry of Labour consultant. He is the President of HITE Engineering, a Mississauga-based consulting firm specializing in industrial and construction safety.