The Workplace Safety and Health Regulation (M.R. 217/2006) requires employers to provide safety and
health orientations for all new workers. This requirement was introduced in 2014 to provide stronger
protection for workers in Manitoba.
What is a safety and health orientation?
A workplace safety and health orientation is a way of introducing workers to the workplace. Orientation
ensures that people are aware of the company’s expectations for safety and health, the roles of managers
and workers, and the hazards of the particular worksite.
Why conduct a safety and health orientation?
The law requires employers to ensure that when a new worker begins work in a workplace, the
worker is given a safety and health orientation specific to the workplace
It will help reduce injuries and related costs
It demonstrates due diligence
Who needs to be oriented?
An orientation must always be given to new workers:
Workers that are new to the workplace
e.g., workers starting employment, including young people, temporary or seasonal workers,
new immigrants, etc.
Workers that have moved from one area of the workplace to another area of the workplace that
has different facilities, procedures or hazards
Workers that are being relocated to a different workplace with different facilities, procedures or
Workers returning to the same workplace, but the processes or hazards in the workplace
changed while the worker was away
Employers must keep records of all orientations given to new workers.
Who is responsible for the orientation?
Employers are responsible for ensuring that a safety and health orientation is provided when a new
worker begins work at a workplace. Different people in the workplace may be responsible for delivering
different parts of the orientation. For example, the health and safety coordinator might deliver the
overall orientation on the organization's policies and procedures, a nurse might review incident
reporting procedures, and a supervisor might detail specific job hazards and outline specific safe work
procedures for a particular job.
What topics must be covered in a safety and health orientation?
Orientations for new workers must cover all of the topics in the list below:
The employer’s and worker’s rights and responsibilities under The Workplace Safety and Health
Act and applicable regulations
The name and contact information of the new worker’s supervisor
The procedure for reporting unsafe conditions at the workplace
The procedure for exercising the right to refuse dangerous work at the workplace
Contact information for the Safety and Health Committee or Representative (as applicable)
Any policies, programs and safe work procedures that the employer is required to develop
pursuant to The Workplace Safety and Health Act and applicable regulations that apply to the
work to be done by the worker
The hazards to which the worker may be exposed and the control measures undertaken to
protect the worker
Location of first aid facilities, means of summoning first aid and procedures for reporting
illnesses and injuries
Emergency procedures (e.g. first aid, fire, evacuation, etc.)
Identification of prohibited or restricted areas or activities
Any other matters necessary to ensure the safety and health of the worker at the workplace
Additional topics to be covered during an orientation will vary depending on the circumstances of the
How to conduct an orientation – A step-by-step approach
Determine who needs to receive orientation or re-orientation.
List what orientation topics you’ll provide for workers. See the required topics above – be
specific. (Among others, your safety and health committee or worker representative would be
helpful in developing the orientation content).
Develop checklists for tracking when each part of the orientation was conducted and who
Assign who will provide what parts of the orientation.
Write down expected timelines for delivery of each part of the orientation.
Develop and/or collect the required materials for the delivery of each part of the orientation.
Provide the orientation, checking off each item as it is delivered. Note who delivered each part
and on what date.
Designate a person(s) responsible to ensure the orientation is provided and that it is done in a
timely fashion (ensure all senior managers and supervisors are aware that this is a requirement
that is supported by company senior management)
Keep copies of the training in individual personnel files.
Develop a system to “refresh” or review policies and procedures training as they change (e.g.
new equipment or procedures) and on a regular basis even if no changes are made.
Reference to legal requirements under workplace safety and health legislation:
- Duties of Employers: Workplace Safety and Health Act W210 – Part 4
- Duties of Supervisors: Workplace Safety and Health Act W210 – Part 4.1
- Orientation for New Workers: Workplace Safety and Health Regulation 217/2006 – Part 2.2.1