Step 2: Find Out | Workers' Health and Safety Awareness Handbook (2023)

You need to know about the dangers.

Some people say that what you don't know can't hurt you. That's not true at work. In some jobs, what you don't know can kill you.A hazard is anything that could harm you or the people you work with.

We have all heard of a worker or group of workers being killed on the job. We've heard of workers falling from heights, getting caught in equipment, or getting electrocuted and burned. Events like these send a shock wave through the workplace and community, and it is tragic for the family and friends of the victim. Unfortunately, this kind of event doesn't happen once or twice.dozens of timesevery year in Ontario.

Behind almost every death, injury, or illness in the workplace is a hazard. A hazard can take many forms. Sometimes more than one hazard can be combined to create an even greater hazard. You must be aware of the hazards in your workplace before starting work.

Think about the people you know. Do you know someone who has been injured or killed on the job? What was the danger behind this? How did it affect you? How did that affect your family?

Some Common Hazards in the Workplace

Here are some of the most common workplace hazards in Ontario:

  • Repeat the same movements over and over again, especially if you are in an awkward position or using a lot of force. Think of someone who has to bend over all day, or someone who repeatedly lifts heavy things, especially above the shoulders or below the knees.
  • Slip, trip or fall. Think of something as simple as spilled coffee on the floor, a messy work space, or a raised platform with no railings.
  • Work near motor vehicles. Imagine being hit by a backing dump truck at a construction site, or someone being hit by a forklift in a warehouse or loading dock.
  • Using or working near machinery. Over the years, many workers have been killed or seriously injured by the equipment they operate.
  • violence at work. It can occur in many workplaces, e.g. For example, a gas station attendant who works alone at night, or a nurse or home aide in these settings.

Can you think of any other common workplace hazards, particularly your own job? Two possible examples are loud noise and no lights. Try to name a few others.

You should also think about the less visible hazards associated with your job, such as chemicals, fumes, and toxic dust. Or germs and viruses in laboratories and health centers. Some of these hazards can make you seriously ill. Sometimes they make you sick right away; sometimes you don't realize you're sick until months or even years later. Therefore, it is important to know these dangers now.

That's itemployer obligationto ensure that the manager knows enough and has sufficient experience and training to ensure the safety and health of workers during their work.

That's itDuties of the employer and managerEducate workers about health and safety risks.

That's itworker's dutyReport hazards you are aware of to your manager or employer as soon as possible so they can correct them.

Employers, supervisors, and employees work together to make the workplace safer.

Here are four important questions about your job that you need to know the answers to. If you don't know, ask your manager:

  • What are the dangers of this job?
  • Do you need special training for this job?
  • Do I have the right protective equipment for this job?
  • If I have security questions, who should I contact?

Do you have any other health and safety questions to ask? For example:

  • How do I report an injury?
  • What do I do in an emergency?

protects you from danger

There are many ways your employer can protect you from workplace hazards. The best way is to remove or remove the hazard entirely. A good example is replacing a toxic cleaning chemical with a non-toxic one.

If the hazard cannot be eliminated, your employer may try to reduce it. This can be achieved by reducing the danger you are facing. An example of this is turning on the ventilation system in a factory or putting up a barrier around dangerous equipment. These are known as "technical checks".

Another way to reduce the hazard is to reduce the duration or frequency of exposure to the hazard. This can be achieved by organizing the work in a different way so that it is not exposed for as long. These are known as “administrative or employment practice controls.”

If the hazard persists after attempts to control it through disposal, engineering controls, and administrative or work practice controls, your employer may require you to wear protective equipment and/or guards.

protective equipment and devices

ThatOHSAstates that one of your responsibilities as an employee is to always wear the protective equipment your employer requires.

A hard hat, goggles, steel-toed boots, or other protective clothing or equipment may make you uncomfortable or slow you down. but if heOHSAor your employer says you must carry or use these items to do the job you are required to do.

Some of the machines in your workplace may have a guard. The guard protects you from coming into contact with a moving part. If your employer or one of the health and safety regulations dictates that the protection must be used, it must be used. ThatOHSAstates that you should never remove or disable a required protection. If for any reason the device must be disconnected, you should not use the device without a replacement device. Taking shortcuts by removing guards is not safe and is illegal.

ThatOHSAsays you need to make sure you don't use any equipment or machinery in a way that could injure you or other workers.You must also not act or behave in a way that could harm you or others. This means not engaging in games, jokes, or other behavior that could hurt someone.

Other ways to learn about hazards

There are other ways to learn about hazards in your workplace. Your employer may have written some of the workplace health and safety procedures. These procedures relate to your job and the machines and equipment you use. Your employer must make sure you know and understand this when you start work. Your employer is also responsible for making sure everyone follows the procedures.

The law states that every worker must be informed and trained about hazardous chemicals or materials in the workplace. The information system on dangerous substances in the workplace (WHMIS) states that you must receive information and instructions on how to safely use, store, and dispose of hazardous materials. This information is available on warning labels and brochures.

If your job involves the use of devices, your employer and supervisor must train you in the safe use of those devices. One way to obtain information on the safe use of machinery is through the operator's manual. It tells you about the dangers and provides instructions on how to use the device safely. Your employer must make sure that anyone can refer to the handbook if they need information. If there is no manual available for the equipment you are using, you should ask your supervisor for information on the safe operation of the equipment.

Another important way to learn about hazards is through training. Sometimes your employer will train you at your workplace; Sometimes they will send you elsewhere for training. Your employer must also tell you how and where to get first aid and what to do in an emergency.

In a safe and healthy workplace, everyone knows the dangers. If you see a workplace hazard or “sticky situation,” report it to your manager or employer immediately. That way someone who knows how to fix it can handle it so no one gets hurt. "Prevention starts here" when everyone knows the dangers.

Step 2 Test

Here is a short quiz about this part of the program. The answers are below the quiz, but please don't look first.

What is it?

  1. The Occupational Safety and Health Act states that you have the right to be informed about the hazards in your workplace.
  2. If a hazard could make you sick, you'll always feel nauseated immediately.
  3. In order not to be injured on the job, you must be aware of the hazards on the job.
  4. If you have doubts about the safety of your job, keep those doubts to yourself.
  5. If you see a hazard while working, you should immediately report it to your supervisor or employer.

Answers to the test in step 2

  1. Yes, the law states that it is the duty of your employer and manager to inform you about the hazards in your workplace.
  2. No, some hazards can make you sick right away, but other hazards may not make you sick for months or even years.
  3. No, you must be aware of all hazards before starting work.
  4. No, you should talk to your manager or your employer about this.
  5. Y


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