What do I do to keep my workplace safe? What does my boss have to do?

Know what your employer has to do

In general, your employer must make sure you can do your job safely. To do that, they must:

  • give you a supervisor who understands the risks of your job
  • train your supervisor on safety issues
  • train your supervisor on the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and workplace policies
  • tell you about any dangers related to your job
  • make sure that you wear protective gear and use safety equipment in the right way
  • post their health and safety policy where you can see it, if your workplace has 6 or more workers
  • train you on the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) if you work with dangerous materials

Rules about safety equipment

There’s no clear rule about who has to pay for safety equipment.

If you have a , read it. It may say who has to pay. 

Usually, employers pay for equipment or tools that workers will share. But your employer can ask you to buy your own personal protective equipment.

Your employer must make sure that you have a safe place to work. This means that they usually pay for the following types of equipment:

  • safety guards on machines
  • safety equipment that can be used by anyone
  • first aid stations
  • tests or tools needed to keep the employer’s equipment working correctly

Your employer can tell you to buy and wear some personal protective equipment if it’s necessary for your job. Some examples include:

  • safety glasses
  • a hard hat
  • steel-toed boots, especially if you work in a construction site or a factory
  • ear plugs or other hearing protection

Your employer can also have a dress code policy for safety reasons. For example, your employer might ask you to wear shoes that are closed at the toe and long pants or long sleeves.

These rules are part of your workplace safety policy.

Your employer cannot take the cost of your personal protective equipment out of your paycheque, unless you tell them in writing that they can do this.

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