Health and Safety At Work Training

Introduction

Health & safety training explains your workplace rights and responsibilities, as well as what your employer, supervisor, and you should expect under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

These are the things you should know and grasp in order to stay safe at work today and every day. We hope you will apply what you have learned here in your professional life.


Section 1: Get On Board

Everyone has a role in safety

A new job is a chance to start fresh and find new opportunities. You’re making new friends and learning new skills. No matter how safe a job looks, there are always potential hazards involved.


How the occupational health & safety act works

The OHSA is a set of laws that defines the duties of employer, supervisor, and the rights & duties of workers. OHSA is also subject to a number of different laws. They include detailed guidelines to make the workplace safe in specific conditions. For example, some regulations are about how to safely work with chemicals and hazardous products. And there are also regulations for different workplaces like, health care facilities, constructions projects, and many more.

The goal of OHSA and its laws is to keep workers safe and healthy on the workplace. Inspectors from the ministry of labour, training, and skills development ensure that the laws are obeyed, and if they aren’t, they can issue orders or file charges. If a person is found guilty of breaching the law, they may face fines or prison time.


Duties of the employer

  1. Establish that employees are aware of workplace hazards and dangers, as well as how to work safely. 
  2. Create workplace health and safety policies and practises. 
  3. Confirm that every supervisor understands how to maintain workplace health and safety. 
  4. Establish that everyone understands and adheres to the health and safety requirements. 
  5. Confirm that workers are wearing and using the appropriate safety equipment. 
  6. Make every effort to prevent workers from being injured or ill on the job.

Duties of the supervisor

  1. Ensure that employees follow the law as well as the company’s health and safety rules and procedures. 
  2. Ensure that employees follow the law as well as the company’s health and safety rules and procedures. 
  3. Confirm that workers are wearing and using the appropriate safety equipment. 
  4. Make every effort to prevent workers from being injured or ill on the job.

Duties of the worker

  1. Follow the law and the health and safety policies and procedures in your workplace. 
  2. Always put on or use the safety gear that your company requires. 
  3. Work and act in a way that is safe for them and other employees. 
  4. Any hazard they identify in the workplace should be reported to their supervisor.

Rights of the worker

  1. Your employer is responsible for keeping the workplace as safe as possible and telling you of any working dangers. Your supervisor is in the same position. 
  2. They must also guarantee that you are aware of the hazards and how to work securely. 
  3. You have the right under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to be educated about the hazards in your job and to be educated on how to do it safely.
  4. Your employer and supervisor are responsible for ensuring that you know how to do job safely if you are asked to do work you are unfamiliar with. 
  5. That is why, even if you are hesitant or unsure, you have the right to stand out and ask questions. 
  6. People can be injured on the work if they lack the necessary knowledge and training.
  7. You should never be concerned that asking questions or reporting an issue would get you in trouble. 
  8. It is illegal for your employer or supervisor to penalise you in any way for following the OHSA’s instructions or for asking your employer or supervisor to follow the OHSA’s instructions. This is known as a “reprisal.” 
  9. It’s also illegal for your boss or supervisors to threaten you with punishment or termination if you do these things. 
  10. You also have the right to decline dangerous work if you believe it puts you or another employee in risk.

Section 2: Get In The Know

You need to know about hazards

Some argue that you can’t injure yourself if you don’t know anything. That isn’t the case at work. What you don’t know can kill you on some tasks. A hazard in the workplace is anything that could harm you or your coworkers. We’ve all heard of a worker, or a group of workers being killed on the job. Workers have been reported falling from great heights, being entangled in machinery, or being electrocuted and burned. Unfortunately, this type of incident occurs not once or twice a year in Ontario, but dozens of times.

Every work-related accident, injury, or illness has a danger at its foundation. A hazard can take many different forms. Multiple hazards can sometimes combine to create a far more dangerous situation. Before you begin working, you must be aware of the hazards in your workplace.


Important questions to ask

Employers, supervisors, and employees collaborate to make the workplace a safer place to work. Here are four crucial job-related questions to which you must have answers. If you’re not sure, ask your boss: 

  1. What are the risks associated with this position?
  2. Is there any more training required for this position? 
  3. Do I have the proper safety gear for this job? 
  4. Who should I contact if I have any safety concerns?

Protecting you from hazards

Your company can safeguard you from job hazards in a variety of ways:

1. Eliminate: The greatest solution is to totally remove or eliminate the hazard. A great example is switching from a harmful cleaning chemical to a non-toxic one.

2. Reduce: Your company can try to mitigate the hazard if it can’t be removed. This can be accomplished by limiting your exposure to the danger.

3. Engineering controls: Improving ventilation systems or constructing a barrier around a potentially hazardous piece of equipment are examples of this.

4. Administrative or work practise controls: Reduce the amount of time or frequency with which you come into contact with the hazard. This can be accomplished by rearranging the job such that you are not exposed for as long.

5. PPE: If the danger persists despite efforts to eliminate it through elimination, engineering controls, administrative or work practise controls, your employer may require you to wear protective equipment and/or devices.


Protective equipment & devices 

One of your responsibilities as a worker, according to the OHSA, is to always wear or use the protective equipment that your employer mandates. A hardhat, safety glasses, steel-toed boots, or other protective apparel or equipment may seem uncomfortable or inconvenient. However, if the OHSA or your employer says you must wear or use these items to conduct your job, you must. A guard may be installed on some of the machines at your job. The guard keeps you from colliding with a moving component. If your employer or one of the OHSA regulations requires the use of a guard, you must use it.

According to the OHSA, you should never remove or disable any essential safety equipment. You should not use the equipment without a replacement device if the device has to come off for any reason. Taking shortcuts by eliminating guards is dangerous – and illegal. According to the OHSA, you must not operate any equipment or machine in a way that might harm you or another worker. You also cannot act or behave in a way that may cause harm to yourself or others. That means no games, pranks, or other actions that may cause harm to others.


Other ways to find out about hazards

You may learn about dangers in your job in a variety of ways. Some workplace health and safety procedures may be written down by your employer. These processes pertain to your job as well as the machinery and equipment you employ. When you start working, your employer must ensure that you are familiar with them and ensure that everyone else also follows the processes.

Every worker is required by law to have access to information and training on chemicals and hazardous items in the workplace. According to the Workplace Hazardous Items Information System (WHMIS) Regulation, you must get information and training on how to properly use, store, and dispose of hazardous materials. Warning labels and information sheets include this information.

If your employment requires you to use equipment, your employer and supervisor must train you on how to use it safely. The operator’s manual is one place to go for advice on how to utilise machinery safely. It contains information about potential risks as well as advice on how to operate the device safely. Your boss should make sure that everyone who needs information may consult the manual. If the equipment you’re using doesn’t have a handbook, you should contact your supervisor for instructions on how to use it safely.

Training is another key means of learning about dangers. Your company may provide training on-site, or send you somewhere else for training. Your employer must also instruct you on how to obtain first aid and what to do in the event of an emergency. If you see a hazard or a “near call” on the job, notify your supervisor or employer straight away. That way, someone who understands how to fix it will be able to handle it and no one will be harmed. 


Section 3: Get Involved

Working together for safety

Learning the Occupational Health and Safety Act involves understanding the health and safety responsibilities of employers, supervisors, and workers, as well as putting them into practise.
If an employer or a supervisor is aware of a hazard but does not attempt to remove or lessen it, or ensure that employees are informed about it and how to deal with it, the employer is not following the law. If a worker is aware of a hazard but does not inform the supervisor or the employer, he/she is breaking the law.

You have a responsibility to report a hazard on the workplace if you notice one. This includes reporting any malfunctioning equipment as well as any other dangers that may exist as a result of failing to follow the OHSA or Regulations. Any accident, incident, or near call should be reported to your supervisor or employer so that they can prevent such incidents in the future.


The right to participate in health & safety

You have the right under the OHSA to participate in and help make your workplace safe and healthy. Here are three things you can do to help keep your workplace secure:

  1. Inform your boss about any potential dangers
  2. Provide options for prevention
  3. Become a member of the health and safety committee or a spokesperson for health and safety

Ways to get involved

There are many ways to get involved but, below are four great ways to contribute to the safety of your workplace:

  1. You have the right to ask inquiries if you are unsure about something.
  2. You can volunteer to be a worker health and safety representative or a worker member of the  joint health and safety committee.
  3. By pointing out potential dangers in your work environment, you may assist your health and safety representative or joint health and safety committee with health and safety inspections.
  4. You are capable of taking your health and safety training seriously and applying what you have learned in the workplace.

Health & safety committees

According to the OHSA, workplaces with 6 to 19 employees must have a health and safety representative or a joint health and safety committee.
The OHSA mandates the formation of a joint health and safety committee in most bigger businesses with 20 or more employees. At least two persons must be on a committee; one must be chosen by the employees or their union, if any, and the other by the company. The committee must have at least four members in businesses with 50 or more employees, with at least half of the members representing workers.


What to look for & what to ask

Your employer is required under the OHSA to publish the OHSA and other health and safety information at your workplace, such as an occupational health and safety poster.  Look for the names of your health and safety representative or members of the joint health and safety committee listed on the bulletin board; they are the persons you may contact if you need assistance. If your organisation has more than five employees, your boss is required to put the company’s health and safety policy on the bulletin board.
If you can’t discover any of these information at your place of business, speak with your employer about it. His or her employment entails a high level of health and safety. You may also speak with your coworkers and learn from each other’s experiences.


Look out for hazards

Always be on guard for dangers, and ask yourself these questions before starting work each day:

Is any of the equipment malfunctioning?
Is there any kind of warning label or sign?
Is there any moving machinery in which I may become entangled?
Is there anything that might cause me to trip or fall?
Is it necessary for me to use safety equipment?
Do I know how to complete this task in a safe manner?


Be a safety role model

Supervisors should be able to serve as strong health and safety role models for the majority of employees. On the other hand, others may view you as a role model for appropriate health and safety standards. The way you operate, as well as how you think and communicate about it, can have an impact on the safety of the people you work with. 


Section 4: Get More Help

You are not alone

Inspectors from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development are unable to visit all workplaces at all times. The Ministry wants to know whether there’s an issue on the job that hasn’t been resolved anywhere in Ontario. There is a toll-free number you can call. When you dial that number, you will be connected to the Health and Safety Contact Centre, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You are not required to provide your name while calling the Health and Safety Contact Centre. The toll-free number is: 1-877-202-0008


Employer reprisals

It’s illegal for your employer or supervisor to terminate or punish you for doing what the OHSA requires of you, or because you requested them to do what the OHSA requires of them. It’s also illegal for your employer to threaten you with termination or punishment if you do these things. 


Getting help

If you believe your employer is retaliating against you for expressing a health and safety concern, go to a union official about it. You may get help by calling the Ministry’s toll-free hotline. Non-unionized employees in this scenario can also get free counsel and representation from the Office of the Worker Adviser. You can get assistance by calling their toll-free number: 1-855-659-7744


The right to refuse unsafe work

You have the right to decline to undertake work if you have reason to suspect the task you’re doing or the equipment you’re using may harm someone at work. This means you inform your employer or supervisor, as well as your health and safety representative or committee, that you believe you are in risk and will not do the task.
Every employee has the freedom to refuse work if they feel it is unsafe. It’s also crucial to remember that you have the right to reject employment if you have cause to believe that the environment in which you work is likely to endanger you or other employees, or that you are in risk from workplace violence.


Who cannot refuse work?

Nurses, firemen, and police officers, are unable to refuse employment if the hazard is a normal part of their profession or if denying working would endanger someone else. If you believe your freedom to refuse employment is being restricted by your job, speak with your union, other workplace representatives, supervisor, or employer.

Human trafficking

Human trafficking is one of the world’s fastest-growing crimes, especially for the purpose of labour exploitation. Construction, manufacturing, mining, hotels, salons, agriculture, domestic labour, sales, and other businesses have all been involved in labour trafficking instances.
The following individuals are at a higher risk of being victims of human trafficking:

  1. migrant workers
  2. newcomers to Canada
  3. those whose immigration status is unknown
  4. the homeless
  5. those who do not speak English or French

Passports and other documents are frequently taken away by labour traffickers, who also have control over where the individual resides. Debt bondage is a kind of human trafficking in which a person is forced to work in order to repay a significant, unexpected, and unlawful debt.

People from other nations, as well as immigrants, may be recruited by someone from their home country or from Canada who makes false promises regarding the nature of the employment and its compensation. The individual may be unaware of their rights in Ontario, unsure of how to seek assistance, and fearful of reporting to the police.

If you or someone you know is being trafficked or is in danger, call 911 or your local police department if you are in immediate danger or feel someone is being trafficked.
For further information and help, call 1-833-900-1010, Canada’s confidential human trafficking hotline.


Workers health & safety centre

Occupational health & safety centre for workers, supervisors and employers.

Phone number: 1-888-869-7950

Website: www.whsc.on.ca


Occupational health clinics

There are six medical clinics across Ontario that offer occupational health services.

Phone number: 1-877-817-0336

Website: www.ohcow.on.ca


Health & safety associations

There are four health & safety associations that offer sector specific consulting, training, products & services.

1. Infrastructure Health and Safety Association: Serves electrical, construction and transportation sectors

Phone number: 1-800-263-5024

Website: www.ihsa.ca

2. Public Services Health and Safety Association: Serves health, education and municipal sectors

Phone number: 1-877-250-7444

Website: www.pshsa.ca

3. Workplace Safety North: Serves mining, paper, printing and converting and forestry sectors

Phone number: 1-888-730-7821

Website: www.workplacesafetynorth.ca

4. Workplace Safety and Prevention Services: Serves industrial, farming and service sectors.

Phone number: 1-877-494-9777

Website: www.wsps.ca


Workplace safety & insurance boards

Employers and their employees are covered by Ontario’s no-fault workplace insurance.

Phone number: 1-800-387-0750

Website: www.wsib.on.ca


Stay safe at work!

We hope you learned a lot and will continue to use this knowledge to stay safe at work.