Manitoba has legislation to ensure that safety and health standards in the workplace are maintained. Non-compliance can be very costly and risky to employee health. An OHN is knowledgeable about the Workplace Safety & Health Act and will assist a company to comply with the legislation. As well, an OHN can provide the necessary training for employee groups and safety committees.
Workers Compensation Board
To minimize and manage the costs of workplace injuries, a company needs: policies to promote safety and prevention of injuries; a protocol for timely intervention and ongoing management of claims; and a program of modified return to work. An OHN works with WCB to facilitate employees’ earlier return to work, thereby reducing direct claims costs.
The Workplace Health & Safety Act
Regulations that must be followed include:
Ø Businesses with 20 or more employees must have an employee health & safety committee.
Ø Employees have the right to refuse to do unsafe or dangerous work.
Ø The OHNs acts as an advisor to the organizations’ Health & Safety Committee.
Regulation Part 12 requires employers to implement an education, hearing surveillance and noise control program “where any worker’s exposure to sound exceeds or is likely to exceed an equivalent sound exposure of 80 dBA. The audiometric testing “must be completed within 70 days after a worker first comes to a workplace, then annually.” An annual report must be provided to the Chief Medical Officer, Workplace Health & Safety. Most OHNs are Certified Audiometric Technicians and are able to implement the organization’s Hearing Surveillance Program.
A Publication of Manitoba Occupational Health Nurses Interest Group