What is the Workplace Safety and Health Act?

What is commonly known as the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) in many provinces is called The Workplace Safety and Health Act (WSHA) in Manitoba. The Act aims to help protect the safety and health of workers in the province. It outlines your responsibilities as an employer for maintaining health and safety in the workplace. You must do everything you reasonably can to protect the health and safety of your employees under the WSHA.

An overview of the WSHA

Manitoba’s WSHA applies to most employers and employees in the province. There are some exemptions, such as for domestic workers and federally-regulated workers. However, most business owners with one or more employees are responsible for maintaining health and safety at work.

According to Safe Work Manitoba, employers have the greatest degree of authority and responsibility to safety in the workplace.

As an employer, it is your duty to:

  • Take precautions to ensure the safety, health and welfare of your employees.
  • Provide and maintain workplace equipment, tools and systems.
  • Ensure workers and supervisors are aware of potential hazards in the workplace.
  • Make sure workers know of the precautions necessary for their protection.
  • Provide workers with competent supervision.
  • Make sure all new workers take part in a safety and health orientation.
  • Provide the necessary training to workers before they start the job to protect them from harm.
  • Ensure that your workplace does not expose workers to potential harm.
  • Consult and cooperate with the workplace safety and health committee or representative.

It is important to ask an expert to review your current workplace practices to ensure your business is compliant.

Workplace Safety and Health Act penalties

Prevention officers conduct inspections and investigations to enforce the WSHA. They are authorized to enter your work site, look at or copy relevant documents, inspect and take samples, interview your workers, & issue compliance orders.

You may face fines if you are found to have done or allowed the following to occur: 

  • Injury or illness occurs as a direct result of contraventions to safety and health legislation.
  • Repeated or willful non-compliance to safety and health requirements.
  • Work continues after a stop work order has been issued.

Administrative penalty amounts range between $1,000 and $5,000 per violation. It is extremely important to ensure you are compliant with the WSHA.

Consolidated Legislation 

There are several pieces of legislation that the WSHA is tied to.

Such as: 

  • The Administrative Penalty Regulation
  • The Operation of Mines Regulation
  • The Workplace Safety and Health Regulation

Is Your Business Compliant?

The WSHA is not straightforward, and it can be difficult to understand the regulations required of employers. Our team of HR experts can help protect your business when it comes to keeping your workplace healthy and safe. Call our free employer advice line today at 1 (204) 201-1648