As part of their responsibilities to eliminate or control risks in the workplace, employers must develop a safe work procedure (SWP) for each task, piece of equipment or tool that their worker is required to perform/use as part of their job and that may expose them to an uncontrolled risk.
The first step in the development of a safe work procedure is to perform a job hazard analysis (JHA). The safe work procedure should include potential hazards, required personal protective equipment, devices and/or other safety considerations, and include steps to perform the task safely.
The document must also include instructions to follow in the event of an emergency while performing the task outlined in the SWP.
It is the responsibility of the employer to provide information and instruction for workers using the SWP, but also to provide these same workers with training and supervision to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare of the worker.
The employer must comply with the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Act and Regulation.
What other responsibilities should an employer consider when developing a safe work procedure?
- SWPs are based on information gathered by a risk assessment.
- SWPs are developed in conjunction with the safety and health committee or representative or, when there is no committee or representative, the workers at the workplace.
- SWPs are approved by management.
- SWPs must be understood by a worker through training.
- SWPs must be readily available for workers to reference.
- SWPs are designed to allow all workers, including those with limited comprehension of the document language, to provide safe equipment, tools and training on how to use these safely.
- Competent supervision is assigned to ensure workers are complying with the steps outlined in the SWP.
- Ensure co-operation with enforcement implementing the WSH Act and Regulation.
The employer responsibilities listed provide a summary of the main points. For further details on this topic, please see the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation Part 2: General Duties, General Safety Duties and SAFE Work Bulletin 249, Part 2: Safe Work Procedures.
Check out our Shop Talk and bulletins on safe work procedures. (Below the FAQs are more resources and examples of safe work procedures.)