Bulletin 255: Safety and Health Orientation Requirements

Bulletin 255: Safety and Health Orientation Requirements

​​​​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 prote​ction for workers in Manitoba. 

What is a safety and heal​​th 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 hea​​​​lth 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 b​​e 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 

    • e.g., workers who are reassigned or transferred to a new job 

  • Workers that are being relocated to a different workplace with different facilities, procedures or hazards 

    • e.g., workers who are transferred to a different office location 

  • Workers returning to the same workplace, but the processes or hazards in the workplace changed while the worker was away 

    • ​e.g., workers returning from a leave of absence ​

Employers must keep records of all orientations given to new workers. 

Who is responsible for t​​​he 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 workplace. 

How to conduct an ori​​entation – A step-by-step approach 

  1. ​Determine who needs to receive orientation or re-orientation. 

  2. 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). 

  3. Develop checklists for tracking when each part of the orientation was conducted and who conducted it. 

  4. Assign who will provide what parts of the orientation. 

  5. Write down expected timelines for delivery of each part of the orientation. 

  6. Develop and/or collect the required materials for the delivery of each part of the orientation. 

  7. Provide the orientation, checking off each item as it is delivered. Note who delivered each part and on what date. 

  8. 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) 

  9. Keep copies of the training in individual personnel files. 

  10. ​​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​ ​
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