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My duties

The Occupational Health and Safety Act gives every worker important responsibilities.

What are some of my responsibilities?

  1. The responsibility to work safely. Use all machinery and equipment the way you were trained to use them and do not make changes to the equipment, take a shortcut or remove a guard.

    In fact, removing a guard or device that has been installed to protect a worker from moving equipment, hot areas or similar hazards not only puts you and others who may use the equipment in danger of injury, it means that you've broken the law and may be responsible for the consequences.

    Always ask your supervisor questions if you're in doubt and before you do anything you weren't trained to do. By working safely and responsibly, you are likely to be in compliance with the OHSA, the regulations and company safety rules.

  2. Report hazards. Workers who are performing tasks know whether something is wrong with the equipment they're using or whether the working conditions are different.

    If a guard is missing, if equipment or protective devices aren't working properly, if you see or sense that there is a hazard in the workplace that could cause injury, or if you know that Ontario's health and safety laws are not being followed, you must report the circumstances to your supervisor or employer as soon as possible.

    Be proactive. That means reporting these conditions as soon as you spot them, not after something goes wrong. Knowing there was a hazard and not reporting it is a tough thing to live with when someone's injuries could have been prevented by your actions.

  3. Use or wear protective devices. Hair nets, rubber gloves, dust masks, aprons, hearing protection, safety boots, and goggles may not be high on the fashion list, but they are standard workplace equipment designed to protect workers from potential hazards in their work.

    When the employer requires you to wear a protective device, they need to show you how to use or wear it and how to take care of it. Once that's taken place, your job is to use or wear it. Don't remove a guard or device designed to protect you. Wear your safety gear. This isn't only good advice, it's the law.

    No job is worth risking your health or your safety for. Protect yourself and those around you by working smart!

Are you a supervisor?

Some young and new workers who return to the same job for a second summer, or have worked for a few months in the same job, may be "promoted" by their employer to be a supervisor, team leader, crew chief, group coordinator or similar title. It's a credit to your dedication and hard work, but you should know that it also brings new legal responsibilities. Not only are you a worker under the OHSA, but now you're also a supervisor with more duties and responsibilities in terms of protecting the workers you are leading.

Want to know more about the duties of supervisors?

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