Safety and health orientation is a form of training that provides workers with information about how to do their work safely. The orientation should be specific to the workplace and include elements of an employer's safety and health program. Employers should give every worker a safety and health orientation before they start work, not only for them to understand how to do their jobs safely, but also to show the new worker that the employer takes safety seriously. The Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Act Section 4(2)(b) mandates employers to provide information, instruction, training, supervision and facilities to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of all workers.
The Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Regulation Part 2.2.1(2) states that an employer must ensure that when a new worker begins work in a workplace, the worker is given safety and health orientation specific to that workers' workplace. Providing an orientation is important in keeping workers safe on the job. Workers must be informed of workplace hazards and controls and their rights and responsibilities in the workplace, and must receive an explanation of how to perform their work tasks safely while including safe work procedures and a demonstration of how to operate machines and equipment safely. WSH Act Section 4(4) identifies an employer's duty for re-training of workers before the worker:
- begins performing a work activity at a workplace
- performs a different work activity than the worker was originally trained to perform
- is moved to another area of the workplace or a different workplace that has different facilities, procedures or hazards.
During orientation, employers can request workers provide copies of their tickets and/or certifications to know what qualifications they have. This will assist the employer to know what certifications are valid and what other special trainings are necessary for the worker. Employers should not consider an orientation to mean that the workers are well-trained. WSH Regulation Part 2 - 2.2.1(3) mandates topics that employers must include in an orientation:
(a) the employer’s and worker’s rights and responsibilities under the Act and applicable regulations
(b) the name and contact information of the new worker’s supervisor
(c) the procedure for reporting unsafe conditions at the workplace
(d) the procedure for exercising the right to refuse dangerous work at the workplace
(e) contact information for the committee or the representative, as applicable
(f) any policies, programs and safe work procedures that the employer is required to develop pursuant to the Act and applicable regulations that apply to the work to be done by the worker
(g) the hazards to which the worker may be exposed and the control measures undertaken to protect the worker
(h)the location of first aid facilities, means of summoning first aid and procedures for reporting illnesses and injuries
(i) emergency procedures
(j) identification of prohibited or restricted areas or activities
(k) any other matters that are necessary to ensure the safety and health of the worker while at work.
Check out our bulletin (available in 18 languages) and our Shop Talk about orientations. (Below the FAQs are more resources related to orientations.)