Bulletin 221: Workplace Safety and Health Representative Checklist

Bulletin 221: Workplace Safety and Health Representative Checklist

​​Workplaces with five to 19 workers are required to have an elected worker safety and health representative. A worker representative acts on behalf of workers not associated with the management of the workplace. He or she works in co-operation with an employer safety and health representative to perform the same duties as a safety and health committee. The following checklist briefly summarizes information about how the worker representative is chosen and his or her role with respect to workplace safety and health.

Worker Representative

  • Must not be associated with management of the workplace.

  • In a unionized workplace, selected/elected in accordance with union constitution.

  • In a non-unionized workplace, democratically elected by the workers.

  • Term of office is normally two years. At term-end, a representative is eligible for re-election.

Employer Representative

  • ​Appointed by the employer.


Competently Trained Representatives

  • ​​Once elected, both the worker and the employer safety and health representative must be competently trained to perform their duties as a representative. Competently trained representatives demonstrate an employer's commitment to workplace safety and health, and provide guidance to workers and employers on safety and health matters. Competent training of representatives includes knowledge of safety and health rights, roles and responsibilities, and knowledge of tasks they may be required to perform as a safety and health representative. Each workplace is unique. The training needs of safety and health representatives vary according to workplace requirements.

For the Employer

  • Meet with the worker representative on a regular basis – at least every three months.

  • Respond in writing to the worker representative's recommendations within 30 days, including short- and long-term control measures used to address the recommendations.

  • Allow the worker representative to meet with the employer during regular working hours.

  • The worker safety and health representative is entitled to take time off from regular work duties in order to carry out the required duties of a safety and health representative:

    • One hour to prepare for meetings with the employer.

    • Time required to attend each meeting.

    • Time required to attend safety and health training in accordance with The Workplace Safety and Health Act, Section 44, as approved by the employer.

    • Time required to carry out other assigned duties of a committee member or representative.

  • The employer shall pay the worker representative at the worker's regular or premium pay, as applicable, for all time spent carrying out the duties of a representative.

  • Post a safety and health bulletin board in a prominent place, for the exclusive use of safety and health representatives, in connection with safety and health subjects.

  • Consult and co-operate with safety and health representatives.

  • Provide representatives with paid safety and health education leave equal to the greater of 16 hours or the number of hours the worker normally works during two shifts.

    • ​Workers must be paid for the greater of the number of hours spent at training or the regularly worked number of hours during a shift.

  • Advise the representatives of the planned introduction of new equipment, new operating procedures or new chemicals or other substances and materials.


Safety and Health Bulletin Board

  • Must be located in a prominent place.

  • Post the names of worker and management representatives and their term of office expiry dates.

  • Post scheduled dates of meetings, the agenda for each meeting and a copy of each meeting's minutes.

  • Post items from Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health and safety and health items of interest to the workplace.

Duties and Responsibilities of Safety and Health Representatives

  • Inspect dangerous conditions and/or call a special meeting to resolve any concerns.

  • Protect the anonymity of complainants who request it.

  • Notify complainants of any decisions or recommendations made to management relating to their concerns.

  • Notify all workers at any site where the work is determined to be dangerous.

  • Worker and management representatives should inspect the entire workplace and its operations at regular intervals, and should resolve any safety or health concerns identified during the inspection.

  • Worker and management representatives are responsible for jointly investigating incidents and dangerous occurrences at the workplace.

  • Periodically assist the employer in determining the types of hazards that may be encountered in the workplace.

  • Meet with the employer on a regular basis (at least every three months) and post the agenda of these meetings on the designated safety and health bulletin board.

  • Review the safety of new equipment, materials and processes, and make recommendations accordingly.

  • Hold plant or office meetings/discussions/presentations/tool box talks with staff to discuss, critically evaluate and get input on safety and health matters.

  • Distribute and display safety and health information and educational materials relevant to the workplace.

Work with Safety and Health Officer

  • Worker safety and health representatives may be required to accompany a Safety and Health Officer during any inspection or investigation. They may be joined by the management representative or designate.

  • Both representatives/designates shall be present during discussion of Workplace Safety and Health inspection or investigation reports and shall sign the report to indicate they have read it.

Contact Workplace Safety and Health Client Services if you are unable to resolve an issue and would like assistance in finding a solution.
  • Winnipeg: 204-957-SAFE (7233)
  • Toll-free (in Canada): 1-877-957-SAFE (7233)
  • E-mail: wshcompl@gov.mb.ca

Reference to legal requirements under workplace safety and health legislation:

  • Workplace Safety and Health Committees and Representatives: Workplace Safety and Health Act W210 Sections 40 and 41
  • Workplace Safety and Health Committees and Representatives: Manitoba Regulation 217/2006 Part 3
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