Everyone's Responsibility (long version)

Everyone's Responsibility (long version)

The Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSH Act) supports every worker's right to a safe and healthy workplace and reinforces the idea that workplace injuries are preventable. To prevent injuries, everyone at the workplace needs to recognize their responsibilities under the WSH Act.​​

All members of a workplace should remember: Workplace safety is everyone's responsibility.

Workplace Safety and Health Committee Responsibilities

Committees and representatives have specific responsibilities for safety and health matters at the workplace. The legal duties of Workplace Safety and Health Committees and representatives include:
  • making safety and health recommendations to the employer, including committee training

  • dealing with the safety and health concerns of workers

  • participating in developing and promoting safety and health precautions, as well as education and training programs

  • conducting regular workplace inspections and participating in safety and health investigations

  • co-operating with workers, supervisors and employers on safety and health matters.

If you're a safety and health representative or sit on a committee, SAFE Work can help! Visit safemanitoba.com and check out the committee toolbox of resources to help you in your role.

Worker Responsibilities

Every individual at the workplace has a personal and shared responsibility to prevent occupational injuries and illness. Workers are responsible for their own actions or inaction.

This involves all workers:
  • taking reasonable care to protect themselves and others who may be affected by their actions or omissions

  • properly using safety equipment, clothing and devices

  • following safety and health rules and safe work procedures at the workplace

  • co-operating with the Workplace Safety and Health Committee or representative

  • co-operating with other people on workplace safety and health matters.

Worker Rights and Responsibilities

When it comes to safety and health at the workplace, every worker in Manitoba has basic rights that are protected by law:
  • Right to Know about hazards in the workplace, and what precautions must be taken to prevent injuries or illness from these hazards

  • Right to Participate in safety and health activities at the workplace, including involvement in the Workplace Safety and Health Committee, or as a worker representative

  • Right to Refuse any task that the worker has reasonable grounds to believe will cause immediate and serious, or long term effects to his/her safety and health or the safety and health of others

  • Right to Protection from reprisal for carrying out duties or exercising rights as set out under the WSH Act.

Employer Responsibilities

Because they have the greatest degree of authority and control over the workplace, employers (the company or organization that hires workers and oversees the supervisors and management team) have the greatest degree of responsibility for workplace safety and health. 

Employers' legal safety and health responsibilities include:

  • taking necessary precautions to ensure the safety, health and welfare of workers

  • providing and maintaining a safe workplace, including equipment, tools and systems

  • ensuring all workers and supervisors are aware of hazards in the workplace, as well as precautions necessary for protection

  • providing workers with competent supervision

  • providing training necessary to protect workers' safety and health before they begin a new job

  • taking precautions to ensure others are not exposed to workplace safety or health risks

  • consulting and co-operating with the Workplace Safety and Health Committee or representative

  • ​co-operating with other people on workplace safety and health matters.

Supervisor Responsibilities

Statistics show the majority of serious incidents occur during a worker's first year on the job. Supervisors play an important role in training workers and acting as a resource so incidents can be prevented.

A supervisor is any person who has authority over a worker, is in charge of a workplace, implements management policies or directs the work of others.

Supervisors oversee workers and legally must ensure:
  • all precautions are taken to protect the safety and health of workers

  • workers understand and follow the safe work procedures for their job duties, and use proper safety equipment, clothing and devices

  • workers are advised of safety and health risks in the work area and are trained before working with new/updated equipment or starting a new task.

Tips for Supervisors

  • Ask – Request a copy of the written Workplace Safety and Health Program (required in workplaces with 20 or more workers), and become familiar with it

  • Be Aware – Use different approaches with different workers – everyone learns differently

  • Ensure Understanding – Review tasks with workers and observe them at work

  • Encourage Questions – Make sure everyone feels free to ask questions. Many new workers don't want to appear as though they don't understand

  • Assign a Mentor – Have new workers learn from experienced workers.

REMEMBER: Supervisors are directly responsible for the workers they supervise and they can convey the message that workplace injuries are preventable. Supervisors have the chance to be role models for young workers, helping to create tomorrow's safe and healthy workforce.

A printed brochure containing this content may be ordered free of charge - to place your order, please email information@safeworkmanitoba.ca with the name of the item, its publication number and required quantity, as well as shipping and contact information. Quantities are limited.

Publication SW1003E​​​​​
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