Your Safety: Safety rights and responsibilities

 
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Rights and responsibilities – Supervisors

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) sets out specific duties for workplace supervisors.

A supervisor is defined in the act as "A person who has charge over a workplace or authority over a worker." A person does not need to have the word "supervisor" in his or her job title to be considered a supervisor for the purposes of health and safety.

The act requires employers to appoint competent supervisors. A competent supervisor must:

be qualified, through knowledge, training and experience, to organize the work and its performance
be familiar with the act and the regulations that apply to the work being performed in the workplace
know about any actual or potential dangers to health and safety in the workplace

Under the act, supervisors must take all reasonable precautions to protect workers from illness or injury. Some of their duties include:

ensuring that workers comply with the act and regulations
providing a safe workplace
assigning safe work
providing safety instruction and job training
ensuring that workers have the right equipment and safety gear to do their job
supervising workers to ensure that they work safely and use equipment and protective devices properly, where required
informing workers of any potential or actual health or safety hazards that are known by the supervisor

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