Everyone is responsible for Workplace Health and Safety. Whether you’re an employer, supervisor or worker, make sure you know your health and safety responsibilities.

What are the employer’s responsibilities?

An employer must:

• establish and maintain a joint health and safety committee, or cause workers to select at least one health and safety representative

• take every reasonable precaution to ensure the workplace is safe

• train employees about any potential hazards and in how to safely use, handle, store and dispose of hazardous substances and how to handle emergencies

• supply personal protective equipment and ensure workers know how to use the equipment safely and properly

• immediately report all critical injuries to the government department responsible for OH&S

• appoint a competent supervisor who sets the standards for performance, and who ensures safe working conditions are always observed.

What are the managers or supervisor’s responsibilities?

As a manager or supervisor, he or she:

• must ensure that workers use prescribed protective equipment devices

• must advise workers of potential and actual hazards

• must take every reasonable precaution in the circumstances for the protection of workers.

Managers and supervisors act on behalf of the employer, and hence have the responsibility to meet the duties of the employer as specified in the Act.

What are the employees’ rights and responsibilities?

Employees’ rights and responsibilities include the following:

• responsibility to work in compliance with OH&S acts and regulations

• responsibility to use personal protective equipment and clothing as directed by the employer

• responsibility to report workplace hazards and dangers

• responsibility to work in a manner as required by the employer and use the proper safety equipment.

• right to refuse unsafe work

• right to participate in the workplace health and safety activities through Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) or as a worker health and safety representative

• right to know, or the right to be informed about, actual and potential dangers in the workplace

Written by: Patricia Olson

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