Physical Plant Safety and Health Manual


Letter of Good Standing


Chapter 1: Safety and Health Directive

Chapter 2: Hazard Assessment and Control 

Chapter 3: Safe Work Practices

Chapter 4: Safe Job Procedures

Chapter 5: Safety and Conduct Rules

Chapter 6: Personal Protective Equipment

Chapter 7: Preventative Maintenance

Chapter 8: Training

Chapter 9: Inspections

Chapter 10: Accident/Incident Investigations

Chapter 11: Emergency Preparedness

Chapter 12: Statistics and Records

Chapter 13: Legislation

Chapter 14: Manitoba Supplement

 Chapter 1: Safety and Health Directive

This chapter explains the Physical Plant commitment to workplace safety and health by identifying our central directive.

Central to the Physical Plant's workplace safety and health program is a statement on our position with respect to the protection of the safety and health of workers at the workplace (WS&H Act Section 7.4(5)(a)).

Physical Plant has published a directive in support of the Workplace Safety and Heath Act and the University of Manitoba's Health and Safety Policy.  The statement signed and dated by the Director of Physical Plant is a commitment to provide a safe workplace. Included in the statement are the responsibilities of supervisors, workers (both duties and responsibilities are stated), suppliers and contractors.  

The University of Manitoba Health and Safety PolicyPhysical Plant Policy and Safety and Health Rights, Duties and Responsibilities are included in this chapter. The Physical Plant directive is also posted at the entrances of Physical Plant building, and in places where employees gather.

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 Chapter 2: Hazard Assessment and Control

This chapter explains what hazard assessments are, and how they are controlled.

Physical Plant shall ensure that all workers are acquainted with any safety or health hazards that may be encountered by them in carrying out their daily duties and responsibilities (Workplace Safety and Health Act (WS&H Act Section 4.2(c)). To this aim Physical Plant staff carry out a Hazard Assessment prior to starting a task. 

A hazard assessment is a process.  The first type of hazard assessment is an informal assessment. Each time you enter a room, assess the area to see if there is anything that is a safety concern to you. For example, look for a missing electrical outlet faceplate, or a broken floor tile.  Next, rank the hazard for how 'bad' it is (severity), and how likely the hazard will injure someone or cause property damage (probability). The "Physical Plant Work Site Hazard Assessment" form is included in this chapter. All Work Orders include a Hazard Assesment area on them. The objective of reporting these hazards is to take immediate corrective action. 

For further guidance, please review "Safe Work Practice 1.7 - Pre-Job Hazard Assessment"

In addition Physical Plant performs regular building/grounds, project work sites and shop inspections. Building and shop inspection forms are included in Chapter 9.

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 Chapter 3: Safe Work Practices

This chapter explains what a Safe Work Practice (SWP) is and why they are important. The objective is to identify hazards and develope procedures to prevent and reduceaccidents and incidents. SWPs are important because they are key in facilitating a safer workplace.

A SWP is universal, meaning that they apply to everyone in the Physical Plant. They are generally developed in collaboration between workers and management. Best practice suggests that if this approach is taken, the SWP is more meaningful. Examples of SWP's are: Asbestos Decontamination, Confined Space and Power Failures. 

As you can see, a SWP is developed and implemented to prevent accidents and to create a safer workplace. Workers must be trained in the SWP, and they must comply with the Practices (WS&H Regulation Part 2.1).

Safe Work Practices for Physical Plant are held under this chapter.

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 Chapter 4: Safe Job Procedures

This chapter explains what a Safe Job Procedure (SJP) is and why they are important. It concludes by giving a list of all SJPs included in the Physical Plant as of this writing.  

A SJP is specific to the Work Unit, meaning they do not apply to any others. They are generally developed in collaboration between workers and management. Best practice suggests that if this approach is taken, the SJP is more meaningful. 

As you can see, a SJP is developed and implemented to prevent accidents and to create a safer workplace. Workers must be trained in the SJP, and they must comply with the Procedures (WS&H Regulation Part 2.1). The objective is to identify hazards and develop procedures to prevent and reduce accidents and incidents. SJPs are important because they are key in facilitating a safer workplace.   

Each Work Unit has its own specific SJPs either in this chapter or in a separate binder located in their shop.

Safe Job Procedures for Physical Plant can be found here.

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Chapter 5: Safety and Conduct Rules

Safety and Conduct Rules are a part of every safety program, including the Physical Plant.  When used effectively, they contribute to the overall success of our program.

To ensure that safety and conduct rules have the desired effect, they must be followed by all of the staff at Physical Plant. Managers are responsible for explaining and promoting these rules. Staff members are responsible to familiarize and comply with the rules. Enforcement is essential for the safety of all employees in accordance with the Collective Agreements and University of Manitoba policy. 

The following pages contain the Physical Plant Safety and Conduct Rules Directive and Physical Plant Rules.  

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  Chapter 6: Personal Protective Equipment

This chapter discusses the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect workers from injury. 

An employer must ensure that, to the extent practicable, the safety and health of each worker is protected by:

  • the design of the workplace or work process;
  • the use of engineering controls; and
  • the implementation of safe work procedures.

(Reference: WS&H Regulation Part 6.1(1))

Following these safety measures, supervisors ensure that workers wear and use PPE. Workers must "at all times, when the nature of his work requires, use all devices and wear all articles of clothing and personal protective equipment (WS&H Act Section 5(b)).

Clearly, the Act suggests the PPE is a team effort.

Following in this chapter is our "Personal Protective Equipment Directive", and "Procedure-Fitting, Care and Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)". 

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 Chapter 7: Preventative Maintenance 

This chapter explains the Preventative Maintenance (PM) program in the Physical Plant.

PM is extremely important and an essential part of a safety program. It ensures proper equipment maintenance is provided reducing the risk of injury or property damage. Currently Physical Plant has over1,650 schedules on the PM program. 

The PM program in Physical Plant uses a Work Order system. Vehicles, equipment and tools are included in this system. Vehicles are maintained by the auto and diesel mechanics. There is also a Daily Inspection checklist that operators use each morning. Equipment and tools are maintained either in-house or through a contractor.

All activity in the Physical Plant involves people working with tools and equipment. It is essential that tools and equipment be properly inspected, maintained and kept in good repair (WS&H Regulation Part 16.4(2)).  Stationary, small electric and manual hand tools are inspected during scheduled shop inspections (The Shop Inspection form is located in Chapter 9, Inspections).

An effective PM program reduces the risk of injuries, and property damage.

The directive on PM is found in this chapter. It also contains a summary listing some of the Physical Plant PM program schedules. 

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 Chapter 8: Training

All activities in Physical Plant begin with training in one form or another. As an employer, Physical Plant provides information, instruction and training to staff to ensure, the safety, and health of all its employees (WS&H Act Section 4(4)).

Training at all levels in our organization is vital to the ongoing success of the Safety and Health Program.  The basic safety program contains at least the following three training components:

  • Safety orientation;
  • Job-specific training (usually in the form of a Safe Work Practice or Safe Job Procedure);
  • Safety meetings.

Physical Plant has over 260 Safe Work Practices, Safe Job Procedures and Workshops. Such safety training ranges from 15 minutes to several hours in length.  

Your supervisor can provide you with information on general safety training, specialized safety training, and mandatory or optional safety workshops. 

This chapter is comprised of:

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Chapter 9: Inspections

Physical Plant ensures that regular inspections - including building inspections - of the workplace are carried out (WS&H Regulations 2.4(1)). The purpose of inspections is to identify any risk to the safety or health of any person, and implement corrective action as soon as practical.   

Safety inspections are used to identify and control hazards in the workplace before incidents occur. During an inspection, both activities and conditions in the workplace are carefully examined. Situations that have the potential to cause injury or damage (sometimes referred to as unsafe acts and unsafe conditions) are identified and corrective action is initiated.

General housekeeping in the workplace should receive considerable attention during inspection. Good housekeeping, demonstrated by orderliness and cleanliness of the job site, usually suggests a safe, well managed job. Poor housekeeping which is an accumulation of unsafe conditions resulting from a series of unsafe acts, ultimately leads to injuries and damage.

Facilities Inspection,  Physical Plant Shop Inspection & Building/Grounds Inspection forms are found in this chapter.   

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Chapter 10: Incident and Near Miss Investigation

Physical Plant conducts/Incident and Near Miss Investigations to identify causes (WS&H Regulation Part 2.9(1)).

This chapter explains the procedure (see attached) to perform Incident and Near Miss Investigations. All staff must be familiar with the investigation process since all have a direct input into the investigation process.

An incident is any unplanned and unwanted event which could result in injury or potentially injure an individual. Almost every incident is a result of a combination of causes. The primary purpose of an investigation is to identify these causes so that corrective action can be taken to prevent a recurrence.

Found in this chapter:

The Incident and Near Miss Investigation Directive

Safe Work Practice 1.8 -  Incident and Near Miss Investigations

Notice of Injury (Green Card)

Near Miss Report Form 

Work Refusal Form

Safe Job Procedure 1.11 - Incident Investigations

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Chapter 11: Emergency Preparedness

Emergency preparedness is a careful, deliberate, and comprehensive process that requires extensive research, preparation, and training. A proactive strategy of planning and preparation can both lessen the impact and help to ensure recovery from an emergency. Success means having an emergency plan that is properly designed and exercised. Success also means reducing the risk of personal injury; minimizing property damage; and keeping the organization functioning.

Physical Plant is responsible to respond to a number of emergencies that could affect the University of Manitoba. In some cases our department plays a very active role and in some we support other departments or external agencies such as the Fire Department.

We have developed a number of emergency response plans and continue identifying and preparing for others.

The Emergency Preparedness Directive,  Emergency Evacuation Muster Point Directive, Phone Numbers and Phone Numbers and Emergency Radio calls can be found in this chapter.

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Chapter 12: Safety Statistics and Records

Under the Workplace Safety and Health Act statistics and records on the safety and health activity must be kept and retained (WS&H Regulation Part 2.10).

As a matter of course, Physical Plant keeps records to track our process. These records provide ready reference of the safety and health program activities and results. They provide the information necessary to assess the program, make necessary modifications, and plan for future activities.

One of the components of statistics and returns is a monthly activity report. The report contains information on:

  • Incident and Near Miss Investigations Summary on the number of files, including those that are still outstanding.
  • Training by workshop title and the number of participants.
  • The last meeting dates by Work Unit of all toolbox, tailgate and staff meetings (click here to see a toolbox report fillable template in Word format).
  • Other safety issues; i.e. the last meeting dates of the Local Area Safety & Health Committee for both campuses.

The Statistics and Records Directive can be found in this chapter.

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Chapter 13: Legislation

The Government of Manitoba passed and received Royal Assent on the updated Workplace Safety and Health Act and Regulation (February 2007). The legislation is in two areas; the Act itself (separated by Section), and the Regulation (divided into 44 Parts). There are 3 counter copies: Reception, Physical Plant and A&E (Fort Garry); and at Bannatyne. The Workplace Safety and Health Act and Regulation is issued to each employee at the New Hire Orientation. Staff is expected to use the Workplace Safety and Health Act and Regulation as a handbook, and have a practical understanding of it.

The Physical Plant Manitoba Safety and Health Legislation and the Table of Contents for both the Workplace Safety and Health Act and Regulation are found in this chapter.

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Chapter 14: Manitoba Supplement

The Physical Plant Safety and Health Manual is very similar to others across the country. What makes each province's program unique is the "Supplement".

Included in this Supplement is information on the Certificate of Recognition (COR) Program; an occupational health and safety certification program developed and sponsored by the Construction Safety Association of Manitoba. The objective of this program is to create a safer workplace.

  • Supplement;
    • Asbestos Management Program,
    • Certificate of Recognition (COR),
    • Confined Space,
    • Duties and Responsibilities of a Prime Contractor,
    • Fire Alarm, Explosions and Other Emergencies,
    • Hearing Conservation Program,
    • Local Area Safety and Health Committees,
    • Lock out / Tag out,
    • New Hire Safety Orientation,
    • Safety Coordinator,
    • Safety and Health Orientation,
    • Workers Working Alone, and
    • Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS).

    This chapter also covers:

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