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What am I supposed to do to keep my workplace safe? What does my employer have to do?

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What am I supposed to do to keep my workplace safe? What does my employer have to do?
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What am I supposed to do to keep my workplace safe? What does my employer have to do?
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Reviewed: 
March 31, 2018
Answer

You and your employer are both responsible for keeping your workplace safe. But, the law says that you have different responsibilities based on your roles.

As a worker, you must:

  • follow the safety policies in your workplace, unless they put you in danger
  • tell your employer if you see anything that could hurt you or someone else
  • use the safety equipment and follow safety procedures required for your job
  • not do anything that could hurt another worker
  • act in a safe and responsible way around dangerous equipment, materials, or situations
  • tell your employer if you see anything that breaks the rules in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)

Your employer must try to protect your health and safety while you're at work.

Your employer must:

  • make sure the safety policies in your workplace follow the rules in the OHSA
  • make sure people follow the safety policies
  • make sure you get the information, training, and supervision you need to do your job safely
  • make sure people use all equipment in a safe and proper way
  • keep the workplace in good shape
  • work with the health and safety representative or Joint Health and Safety Committee to solve problems

The rules in the OHSA say that your employer must "take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances" to protect your safety. This means that they must do everything they reasonably can to keep you safe. That could include changes to machines, safety equipment, or your workplace that are likely to stop people from getting hurt.

Every workplace will have different safety needs. If you think your employer should do more to protect you, talk to your union, your health and safety representative, or your Joint Health and Safety Committee.

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