Questions to Ask an Employer When Starting a New Job

Questions to Ask an Employer When Starting a New Job

​​1. What are my saf​​​ety and health rights? 

As a worker, you have the right to know about safety and health in your workplace and the right to participate in safety and health activities in your workplace. This can include safety and health questions and concerns, attending training from your employer and courses provided by SAFE Work Manitoba as well as other safety and health training as required. 

If you’ve been asked to do something that you believe may endanger you or your co-workers, or you have not been adequately trained to perform a task safely, you have the right to refuse to do the work. The Workplace Safety and Health Act allows you to legally refuse work you believe to be dangerous and protects you from reprisal by your employer for refusing. The employer must inspect the danger and ensure any tasks are safe to perform. 

2. What are my safety and health r​esponsibilities? 

The law requires you to take reasonable care to protect your own safety and health and that of other workers. It is your responsibility to co-operate with your employer and follow all the rules and policies. Once you’ve been properly trained to do a job, you must ensure you do it safely and wear the required protective equipment at all times. It is also your responsibility to report any hazardous conditions that you see to your supervisor. 

3. Who do I ask if I have a he​​​alth or safety question? 

The fi​rst person to ask about safety and health on the job should always be your employer or supervisor, since they know your workplace best. As part of your safety and health orientation, your employer must provide you with your supervisor’s name and contact information and make sure you are supervised by someone who knows how to do the job safely until you can do the job safely. 

​​Some jobs may look easy, but until you’re completely trained, it can be dangerous to go ahead on your own. Your employer and supervisor are required to make sure you have learned everything you need to know to perform a task safely before you do a job on your own. Be sure to follow instructions and not perform tasks on your own when not approved to do so. 

You can also talk to someone on the safety and health committee or the worker representative, if these exist. Workplaces with 20 or more workers must have a safety and health committee with meetings held at least quarterly. If the workplace has five to 19 workers, there must be a worker representative who you can go to if you have concerns. The company safety and health bulletin board should post information such as who knows first aid, the minutes from the health and safety committee meetings and any other relevant information. ​

​4. What are the company’s safety an​​d health procedures and rules? 

Every company is required to have safety and health policies and rules. It is your employer’s responsibility to set these standards and make sure you know about them when you begin your job. It is your responsibility to learn and follow them. As part of your safety and health orientation, your employer must provide you with the procedures for reporting unsafe work in the workplace, how to refuse dangerous work, safety and health policies and programs (e.g., training plan, working alone or in isolation, violence and harassment prevention, incident investigation, workplace safety and health program – if 20 or more employees) and any safe work procedures for the specifc tasks you will be performing. 

5. What are the hazards of my j​​​​​ob and how will I be protected? 

Manitoba’s health and safety laws require your employer to inform you of any workplace hazards. This may include such things as exposure to chemicals, potentially dangerous equipment, excess noise and situations where you may have to work at a height. The employer must provide you with information on how you will be kept safe from these hazards and you must take the steps the employer has provided to prevent injuries. 

6. Do I need to wear safety gear a​​nd when will I be shown how to use it? 

The law requires your employer to provide, and make sure that you use, appropriate safety equipment when and where it’s necessary. Your employer is also required to make sure that you’re trained in how to use this equipment properly. For some equipment, such as safety footwear, your employer can ask you to bring your own as a condition of employment. Ask if you’re not sure. It is your responsibility to wear the required equipment and use it properly. 

7. What do I do if I get hurt? W​​ho is the first aid person? 

All workplaces must have a first aid kit; the type depends on the number of workers, how hazardous the work is and the location of the workplace. Most workplaces are required to have employees who are trained in first aid. The employer must let you know who can provide first aid in case you ever need their help and where the first aid kits and eyewash facilities are located. This information should be posted on the safety and health bulletin board. 

8. Is this workplace covered by wo​rkers compensation? 

If you do get injured and require first aid, you are required by law to report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. If you are injured at work, you should also report it to The Workers Compensation Board (WCB). They have a phone-in claims centre: call 204-954-4100 in Winnipeg, or toll free at 1-855-954-4321. If you see doctors or other health care professionals because of the injury, they must report the workplace injury to the WCB. ​

​9. When will I be trained in emerge​​ncy procedures? Where is the emergency equipment located? 

​Before you start work and during your safety orientation, your employer must tell you about the emergency procedures you need to follow to protect yourself in situations such as a fi​​​re or a chemical spill. You must be informed on topics such as how to exit the building, where to go if you have an injury and what to do when you encounter an emergency situation. In the case of an emergency situation, you should be informed about the locations of fire extinguishers, as well as instructions on how to use a fire extinguisher and any special equipment required to respond to emergencies that could arise in your workplace. 

10. Are there any prohibited or restrict​ed areas or activities in this workplace? 

For your safety, certain areas, equipment and work activities may be off-limits in the workplace. Your employer is required to inform you about these areas, equipment and work activities, so that you have the knowledge to protect yourself from injury. 

11. Is there anything else I need to know about safety and health in this workplace? 

In addition to these questions, which employers are required to address in your safety and health orientation, they must let you know of any other matters relating to your safety and health on the job. If you think there may be more to know, don’t wait, ASK your supervisor! If you have questions or concerns that your employer hasn’t answered, you can contact 204-957-SAFE (7233), or toll free at 1-855-957-SAFE (7233) to fnd out more information about workplace safety and health, or visit: (SAFE Work Manitoba). ​​

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