• Safety Basics

  April 3, 2023

Know About Responsibilities

Under the law, everyone in the workplace — from employers to front-line workers — has responsibilities for health and safety.

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2 min read

As an employer, you’re responsible for the following:

  • Putting in place an effective occupational health and safety (OHS) program.
  • Providing safety training to workers before assigning duties to them, and ensuring they are properly supervised.
  • Training and supporting your supervisors so they can properly carry out their responsibilities for health and safety.
  • Inspecting work areas regularly to detect unsafe conditions and work practices.
  • Ensuring that unsafe conditions and work practices are corrected without delay.
  • Providing first aid equipment, supplies, and attendants as required.
  • Seeing that all injuries — even minor ones — are treated immediately and transported or referred to a medical facility as necessary.
  • Reporting to WorkSafeBC injuries that needed medical attention.
  • Investigating incidents that injured workers or damaged equipment.
  • Sending all required forms to WorkSafeBC.
  • Making sure all contractors and subcontractors operating in your workplace are registered with WorkSafeBC and their premiums are up to date. (For more information, follow the “Contractors and Subcontractors” link below.)

Supervisors, regardless of their official job titles, are responsible for the following:

  • Keeping all workers under their direct supervision safe and healthy.
  • Making sure the workers they supervise are aware of all the known hazards in the workplace.
  • Knowing the WorkSafeBC requirements related to the work they supervise, and ensuring those standards are met.
  • Making sure that the workers they supervise have the right personal protective equipment (PPE), that they’re using it properly, and that it’s maintained and inspected regularly.

Workers are responsible for the following:

  • Reporting any unsafe acts or conditions to their supervisor or employer.
  • Following safe work procedures and working with care and attention at all times.
  • Making sure they don’t work while impaired by drugs, alcohol, or other causes.
  • Participating in inspections and investigations when required, and co-operating with joint committees, worker health and safety representatives, and WorkSafeBC officers.
  • Using protective equipment, devices, and clothing as needed or required.
  • Reporting all workplace injuries or symptoms, no matter how minor, immediately to a first aid attendant or a supervisor. And if medical treatment is needed, telling the health care provider the injury happened on the job.
  • In case of a workplace injury, working with their doctor and the management team to return to work safely. This may mean performing modified duties rather than returning immediately to their usual tasks.
  • Following the medical recommendations of health care providers.

In addition to their responsibilities, workers also have the right to:

  • Be informed about the hazards in their workplace.
  • Take part in health and safety activities in their workplace.
  • Refuse unsafe work.

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