Minimum
Guidelines
Responsiblities

Your employer, supervisor, and you have health and safety responsibilities.

Your employer is responsible for:

  • meeting safety program requirements
  • providing training and authorizing use of power tools, machinery and equipment
  • ensuring working conditions are safe.

Your supervisor is responsible for:

  • ensuring personnel are adequately trained before being assigned a task
  • identifying and eliminating hazards
  • receiving and acting upon injury and accident reports.

You are responsible for:

  • behaving in a safe manner
  • complying with safety and health regulations
  • refusing dangerous work.

Employer

Your employer is responsible for providing a safe work environment and ensuring that safety and health, and first aid regulations are complied with. This responsibility includes training workers to do their jobs safely and ensuring that working conditions are safe.

Safety program

Every employer must have a safety program. If your employer has 20 or more workers on site (including supervisors, cooks, etc.) then a written safety program is required.

The written program will outline what is required for ensuring work place safety. It will include guidelines on:

  • required training
  • safety inspections
  • accident investigations and injury reporting
  • safety meeting
  • worker supervision.
You should ask to see a copy of the safety program and become familiar with its content.

If there are less than 20 workers, the safety program will, as a minimum, consist of safety meetings, which are to take place at least once per month. The identification and correction of unsafe acts and conditions will be the focus of the meetings. A record is to be kept of the issues discussed and actions taken to correct unsafe acts and conditions.

Skills training

Your employer is responsible for ensuring that you can perform your job safely. Therefore, your employer is responsible for training, and for authorizing the use of power tools, equipment and machinery. If you do not possess the skills necessary to safely perform a task or job, your employer will need to ensure that you are trained.

Training can be delivered through training courses and seminars, or on-the job training. On-the-job training is to be conducted prior to you undertaking a task or job unsupervised. Training can be conducted by a designated trainer, supervisor or qualified co-worker.

Working conditions

Your employer is responsible for ensuring working condition are safe and all known hazards are addressed. All vehicles, structures, equipment, machinery and tools must be maintained in a safe operating condition. The employer must ensure regular work site inspections are conducted to prevent unsafe acts and conditions. All unsafe acts and conditions must to be corrected without delay.

Supervisor

The supervisor is responsible for ensuring the employer's responsibilities for workplace health and safety are met on-site.

Training

Supervisors are directly responsible for ensuring all persons under their direction can perform assigned tasks safely. This includes ensuring that employees are trained before they are directed to undertake a task or job. The supervisor must confirm through observation that a person can perform a task safely.

Work site safety

The supervisor is responsible for ensuring hazards are identified and corrected, and regular safety inspections take place. The supervisor also has a delegated responsibility to ensure that the on-site requirements of the safety program are met.

You will report all injuries, accidents and hazards to the supervisor.

Worker

You are responsible for ensuring that your own actions do not endanger yourself or your co-workers. This includes being aware of your responsibilities for preventing accidents, injuries and industrial illnesses.

You must report all situations, including unsafe acts and conditions, that are a hazard to yourself or your co-workers.

Compliance with standards/regulations

You are responsible for being aware of the health and safety, and first aid regulations that apply to your work site. (The employer is responsible for providing copies of the regulations on site). You must comply with the regulations and follow all of the employer's safe work procedures.

You have a responsibility to report all hazards you encounter. Your employer is responsible for correcting these hazards or ensuring safe procedures are used to deal with them.

Worker rights

You have three basic rights in workplace health and safety:

  1. The right to know about hazardous materials:

    The right to know about the hazardous materials that you work with or around is outlined in the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) Regulations.

  2. The right to participate in health and safety:

    You have the right to participate in health and safety. When there is a health and safety committee, you can be involved in health and safety through membership or input to the committee. When the work operation is too small to require a health and safety committee, participate through regular monthly safety meetings that the employer must hold.

  3. The right to refuse dangerous work:

    In BC, you have a right and responsibility to refuse work if there is a hazard that might cause harm to yourself or you co-workers. These situations are to be reported immediately to your supervisor. If you and your supervisor cannot resolve the situation, call the local WCB office. The WCB Officer's decision on whether the situation is too hazardous to work, or not, is final and binding.