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What to do if you have a health or safety concern

Workplace injuries are unfortunately common. However, as an employee, you can do something to help prevent it.

Worker duties in regards to safety at the workplace

As an employee, you have a duty to report any safety or health concerns you have at the workplace to your superior, be it your supervisor or directly to the employer.

Further duties of workers include:

  • Be in compliance with the occupational health and safety act;
  • Use or wear protective gear or equipment as required by the employer and the acts;
  • Report any workplace hazards or violations to the employer;
  • Inform your employer about defective equipment, clothing or protective devices as soon as possible;
  • Tell the employer or supervisor about any known missing or defective equipment or protective device that may be dangerous;
  • Participating in required training at the workplace;
  • Respecting, understanding and abiding by health and safety requirements which are outlined in occupational health and safety acts as well as employment standards acts;
  • Making sure to cooperate with people who have a duty under the occupational health and safety acts;
  • Refraining from participating in or causing malicious behaviour at work including bullying and harassment of others.

A worker has a responsibility towards his or her workplace to make sure the worker himself follows all the safety rules and regulations and reports anything that could create a risk situation for her/himself and/or others.

Worker rights at the workplace

Employees have the right to be informed of safety hazards at the workplace. Those rights include:

  • The right to know the hazards at work and how to control them;
  • The right to participate in identifying, assessing, eliminating and controlling workplace hazards; and
  • The right to refuse work they believe is unusually dangerous to themselves or others.

Workers have the right to be kept aware of potential hazards in order to be able to prevent themselves and others from getting into dangerous situations.

Employer responsibilities

The employer has responsibilities to make sure his or her workers are safe and following all the safety regulations and rules as well as making sure the workplace itself is a safe space for workers.

However, an employer’s responsibility goes beyond just providing a safe space. The employer also has to make sure that his workers are trained and have all the necessary safety equipment. The employer also has to make sure managers and supervisors are trained on health and safety requirements, that they are fulfilling them, that health and safety programs in place and that health and safety requirements are met.

Furthermore, any equipment, machinery and other tools used at the workplace have to be in good working condition.

Employers themselves must make sure that they comply with the occupational health and safety act of their province or territory. If the employer is federally regulated, then the employer has to comply with the Canada Labour Code.

If you have health or safety concerns at work for yourself or others, speak to your team leader, supervisor or manager.

Read more:

Workplace Safety Government of Canada

Health and Safety Committees and Representatives Government of Canada