Sparks flying from saw.

Construction Safety

Ladder safety

Ladders are used in a wide variety of settings at the University of Manitoba. Unsafe use of ladders can result in injury, often due to these factors:

  • Improper selection of an appropriate ladder.
  • Setting up and climbing ladders improperly.
  • Losing balance or overreaching while on a ladder.
  • Using a metal ladder near electrical hazards.

The University of Manitoba’s Ladder Safety Program is based on the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Standard CAN3-Z11-M81: “Portable Ladders” and Part 13 of the Manitoba Workplace Health and Safety Regulation. The Ladder Safety Program, available on the UM Intranet, outlines the roles and responsibilities of employees and supervisors and information on how to properly use, handle, and store ladders in the workplace. Contact EHSO for further information or assistance.

Electrical safety

Electrical work requires specific training to ensure worker safety. The Workplace Safety and Health Regulation defines an "electrical worker" as a person authorized to do electrical work or restricted electrical work under The Electricians' Licence Act.

The University of Manitoba ensures that only a trained and competent electrical worker is assigned to do electrical work. The University has also developed safe work procedures on how to perform electrical work, which can be accessed through the EHSO UM Intranet page.

To ensure compliance with Part 38 of the Workplace Safety and Health Regulation, the University’s Electrical Safety Program includes elements such as:

  • Hazard assessments and safe work procedures.
  • Emergency procedures for contact with energized electrical equipment.
  • The requirement that only electrical workers perform electrical work.
  • The requirement that electrical work performed at the University meets the requirements of the Electricians' License Act as well as the Manitoba Electrical Code.

For guidance on the University’s Electrical Safety Program, contact EHSO.

Lockout and tag out

What is lockout?

Lockout/tag out assists employees in working safely when energy isolation is required due to hazardous energy being present. Types of hazardous energy may include:

  • Electrical: The most common form of energy used in workplaces. It can be available live through power lines or it can also be stored, for example, in batteries or capacitors.
  • Pneumatic: The energy stored within pressurized air.
  • Chemical: The energy released when a substance undergoes a chemical reaction.
  • Thermal energy: from an explosion, flame, objects with high or low temperatures, or radiation from heat sources.
  • Radiation energy: related to ionizing, low-frequency electromagnetic, optical, or radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation.
  • Kinetic: Also referred to as mechanical energy, this is energy contained in an item under tension.

When is de-energization and lockout required?

There are various instances when lockout/tag out is required at the University. Examples may include installing, repairing, or servicing machinery, equipment, or systems. Before any work begins, hazard/risk assessments must be conducted to identify hazardous energy related to the work performed. Elements that are included in the process are:

  • Identifying all tasks to be performed.
  • Identifying all potential sources of hazardous energy.
  • Assessing the risk level for each task and the corresponding hazard.
  • Determine how to de-energize each identified energy source.
  • Identify each de-energized energy control device that must be locked out.

For guidance on the Lockout/Tag Out Program, contact EHSO.

Confined spaces

Safety legislation in Manitoba defines a confined space as an enclosed or partially enclosed space that, except to perform work, is not primarily designed, or intended for human occupancy, and has restricted means of access or egress.

A hazardous confined space means a confined space that is or may become hazardous to a worker who enters or is in the space due to the design, construction or atmosphere of the space, materials or substances in the space, the work activities or processes in the space or any other conditions within or related to the space.

The University of Manitoba has developed and implemented safe work procedures for working in confined spaces and hazardous confined spaces. The University also ensures it trains employees who may perform work in a confined space or hazardous confined space.

The University’s safe work procedures include the following:

  • Procedures for recognizing the risks associated with working in confined spaces or hazardous confined spaces.
  • Procedures for isolating pipes, lines, and sources of energy from confined spaces or hazardous confined spaces.
  • Safety and personal protective equipment (PPE) to be used.
  • Procedures for communicating with a standby worker when working in a hazardous confined spaces.
  • An emergency response plan with rescue procedures to be implemented in the event of an incident/emergency in a hazardous confined space.

For more information on the University’s Confined Space Program, contact EHSO.

Contractor safety

The University of Manitoba is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all members of the UM Community, including for contractors.

It is the responsibility of a contractor to ensure that project work is performed safely and that it follows Manitoba Workplace Health and Safety Regulation as well as all other applicable provincial and/or federal requirements.

The University expects that contractors will train, supervise, and direct their employees to be respectful and follow all company safety requirements as well as all aspects of the UM Contractor Safety Program when performing work on university premises.

The University’s Contractor Safety Program is not intended to assume responsibility for the contractor’s duty to its employees. This guideline is provided to identify specific responsibilities, communicate hazard information for university facilities and outline the University of Manitoba’s Safety and Environmental procedures and requirements.

Working from heights

The University of Manitoba requires that fall protection systems are used whenever work is performed at a height of 3 meters, or where a fall of less than 3 meters could result in an injury greater than expected on a level surface.

Examples of working from heights includes:

  • Ladders
  • Scaffolds
  • Powered, elevating work platforms (e.g., scissor lift)

Employees using fall protection equipment (e.g., for fall arrest or fall restraint) must be trained in the proper use of the system and knowledgeable of fall protection requirements.

The University of Manitoba requires that safe work procedures for fall protection are utilized whenever working from heights. For more information on the University’s Working at Heights Safety Program or safe work procedures, contact EHSO.


Welding is the process of joining metals together using pressure, heat, flame and/or an electric arc. The University of Manitoba maintains a Welding Safety Program that contains the following:

  • Types of welding processes
  • Risk assessment processes for hazards
  • Health effects of exposure
  • Current allowable thresholds and guidelines
  • Ventilation guidelines
  • PPE requirements
  • Special welding situations
  • Equipment checklists

The University of Manitoba requires that a risk evaluation is conducted to assess welding hazards. This risk evaluation is done in the form of a job hazard analysis, which can be found on the EHSO page on the UM Intranet. Once the hazards have been identified, control measures and safe work procedures are developed and put in place to prevent injuries.

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