Safety Smarts on the Job

Maureen Hynes

The School of Labour

416 415 5000 x 2549 [email protected]


By the end of the workshop, you will be able to:

Name and explain the


that cover your health & safety in the workplace

Demonstrate understanding of your

three main rights

for workplace health & safety

Identify your health & safety


as a worker

Identify the employer’s responsibilities

Young people on the job

Stats show a clear link between experience and safety:

Young people (between 15-24) are

35% more likely

than older workers to get injured on the job

Over 15,000 young workers are injured, killed or made ill yearly in Ontario (that’s over

40 a day!)

In 2000, 16 young workers were killed in Ontario


of all workplace deaths occur in the employee’s first month

What’s dangerous work?

Where do most injuries occur?

Construction sites


Service industry (hotels, bars, restaurants, stores, supermarkets)

Health care

Office work

Why do young workers have a higher injury rate?

Usually no supervision when young workers are injured

Because employers think they aren’t permanent, they don’t train young workers, or just give them a quick training

Young workers don’t know the hazards, the laws, the employer’s responsibilities and their own

Young workers are often anxious to please

Young workers take more risks

Some young workers have a sense of “invincibility” – it could never happen to


Canada’s rank internationally

(2004 statistics)

Fatalities per 100,000 workers

2.1 workers per 100,000

Where would you put


The U.S.?




How do injuries to young people occur?

Top cause of injuries to young worker:

Slips and falls

What injuries do young people suffer?

Most common injury to young workers:

Sprains and strains

What serious injuries to young people are common?

Top CRITICAL INJURY to young people

Broken bones

What laws protect us?

The Occupational Health and Safety Act

The Workplace Hazardous Materials

Information System (WHMIS


The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act


Health and Safety Act

Protects most workers in Ontario from health and safety hazards on the job

Sets out the minimum standards for health and safety in Ontario

This Act is a


one, and it has a series of


, each of which covers specific occupations, work sectors or work hazards.


Health and Safety Act

This law gives us

3 main rights:

The Right to


The Right to


The Right to


The Right to Know

Your employer must:

 tell you the actual and potential hazards in the workplace;

 give you the training you need to avoid injury and illness in your specific workplace;


Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System


in your training

– it gives you the info you need to work safely with materials in your workplace (see WHMIS symbols & warning labels);

 tell you who the

first aid

is); person is (or where the first aid station provide

protective clothing/equipment

condition; and maintain it in good tell you where the

fire alarms

and exits are tell you what to do in

emergency situations


The right to participate

Through your health and safety representative, or your joint health and safety committee (in workplaces with more than 20 employees), you have the right to:

identify work hazards

 participate in health and safety


make recommendations

about health & safety conditions and improvements

The right to refuse unsafe work

If you think the work you’re doing is unsafe, or the equipment you’re using isn’t safe, you can

refuse the work


When you follow the proper refusal procedure (as in the OHS Act):

You cannot lose pay

You cannot be docked for the hours

You cannot be suspended or fired for refusing


you must stay in a safe place at the workplace and follow the directions of the employer if s/he gives you other work to do before an investigation takes place.

Kinds of hazards

Physical hazards

Chemical hazards

 o o o o

Biological hazards

“Confined space” hazards

Other hazards

Indoor air quality

Working alone

Violence at work


Your responsibilities

As a worker, you MUST:

Always work safely and follow the OHSA

Use the required protective equipment

Never remove, change or damage protective equipment. If it’s missing or damaged, tell the supervisor

Report any unsafe condition or hazard to the supervisory

A few things to ask about H&S when you start a new job

What are the general safety rules for this job?

What are the hazards in this job?

What specific procedures do I have to follow to protect myself?

Will I be using any hazardous chemicals?

When will I get H & S training for this job?

When will I get WHMIS training?

What safety gear do I have to wear?

Questions to ask, cont’d

What training will I get on how to use my safety equipment?

What do I do in emergency situations such as a fire, or a chemical spill?

Where are the fire extinguishers, first aid kits and other emergency equipment?

If injured, what should I do?

Who is the trained first aider in my area?

Questions to ask, cont’d

Is there a worker H & S rep, or a joint H & S

Committee? Who is it/are they?

Does this company have an occupational health and safety specialist? Who is it?