July 30, 2014
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Workplace Health and Safety

Keep your workplace safe

Keep your workplace safe

In Canada, 1 worker in 7 between the ages of 15 and 29 is injured on the job. Machine injuries and electrocutions are among the leading causes of death in young people.

As a worker in Canada, you have rights and responsibilities to ensure that your workplace environment is safe. In Canada, the occupational health and safety law protects you against dangers on the job. This law outlines the rights and responsibilities of the Government of Canada, the employer, and you, the worker.

There are three keys to maintaining a safe workplace:

  • Know how to recognize and be aware of hazards in the workplace:
    • If you're uncertain about the safe use or operation of anything you work with, insist on getting proper training.
    • Be aware of things that may injure you or damage your health, including not only any heavy or sharp objects but also such things as cleaning fluids, poor posture, and sources of stress.
    • If you work with chemicals, attend health and safety training sessions.
    • If you are an employer in Canada, you are required by law to inform and train your workers about hazardous materials used in the workplace.
  • Participate in workplace health and safety:
    • Take charge of your own safety - don't expect others to look out for you.
    • Use proper safety equipment.
    • Adjust your workspace to minimize strain and bad posture.
    • Pay attention to air quality and noise levels.
    • Report unsafe conditions to your supervisor.
    • Know who to go to for help if you have any questions about the safety of your workplace or job.
  • Refuse unsafe work: Stop working or using the equipment if you think that you are at risk of injury, and talk to your supervisor. Unless you are told that the situation is corrected, and you are no longer at risk of injury, do not continue to work. This also applies to any work condition that may damage your health over the long term, whether poor air quality, a work arrangement that puts you at risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, or an unusually stressful environment.

It is in the best interests of employers to maintain safe workplaces. Healthy, happy workers may mean more profitable businesses and will help keep workplace insurance costs down. And, of course, it is in the best interests of workers to stay healthy!

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