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Workplace safety and health

Employee rights

The Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Act and Regulation outline the four rights of a worker. These rights include:

  • The Right to Know
  • The Right to Participate
  • The Right to Refuse
  • The Right to Protection Against Reprisal

At the University of Manitoba, the Right to Know is supported via documented EHS programs and procedures, safety training and other communication tools such as safety data sheets. 

The Right to Participate is supported by the ability of all UM employees to contribute to the identification of hazards or safety concerns including the ability to volunteer as part of our workplace safety and health committees. All hazards or safety concerns should be first reported to your supervisor for resolution. If assistance is required regarding issue resolution, please contact EHSO by phone or email.

The Right to Refuse work that is considered dangerous to either the person conducting the work or to others is outlined in the following procedure. The first step in any right to refuse situation is to report the dangerous work to your supervisor. This provides them the opportunity to correct the situation. A member of EHSO can be available to assist in any and all stages of the process.

Right to Refuse Infographic (PDF) Right to Refuse report form (PDF)

The Right to Protection Against Reprisal ensures that an employee can exercise their rights without being penalized. This fundamental right is important to developing and maintaining a positive safety culture. Contact EHSO if you have any concerns regarding the above statement.

Workplace safety and health committees

The MB Workplace Safety and Health Act and Regulation outlines specific requirements for safety and health committees in workplaces. This legislation applies to all workplaces in Manitoba. The spirit of this legislation is intended to allow workers to have a voice, representation and to participate in health and safety matters within the workplace.

The administration of the safety and health committees is supported by EHSO, but its success is reliant on the participation of volunteers elected and chosen from across the various faculties and departments of the University of Manitoba. 

As the University is a complex workplace spanning multiple geographical locations and facilities as well as varied types of work and hazards. Due to this complexity, there are 20 safety and health committees at the University known as the Local Area Safety and Health (LASH) Committees. The jurisdiction of each committee is based on associated faculty or department, geographic area and similar hazards. The committees conduct safety and health activities as described in the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Act and Regulation. 

The University also supports and Organizational Safety and Health Advisory (OSHA) Committee whose role is to assist with work that spans multiple LASH committees. Although this committee is not required by legislation, it is helpful in ensuring the right employee membership is engaged in EHSO program documentation reviews in topics that affect all employees. 

To learn more about your LASH and OSHA committees, see the Workplace Safety and Health page on the UM Intranet.

Incident reporting and worker compensation

All incidents in the workplace must be reported to both your supervisor and EHSO immediately.

Incidents can be reported to EHSO by phone at 204-474-6633 (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday) or by using the Incident report webform.

Incident report webform

EHSO will lead all incident investigations in order to identify the root cause of the incident and apply any necessary corrective actions.  An incident investigation is never about blame but is an active preventative measure to reduce future incidents of the same nature.

Reporting to the Workers Compensation Board

All incidents that require medical aid (a healthcare professional was seen to assess any injury to person involved) or where there was time lost (the employee involved missed work after the date of the incident) must be reported to the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) by both the university (the employer) and the employee involved. EHSO submits these reports on behalf of the university as part of their incident investigation.

The employee involved in the incident must also contact the WCB to report their claim. This can be done by calling the WCB at 204-954-4321 (8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday to Friday). More information on reporting your incident as an employee can be found on the WCB How to Report a Claim webpage

EHS training program

Training is provided to ensure we work and learn in a manner that protects the safety of our employees and everyone in the UM Community as well as our environment. Please see the EHS Training Manual (PDF) for more information on the courses available.

Content is continually being updated. If you would like to see more information or have a suggestion for new training, please contact EHSO to discuss.

All online courses can be accessed via the UM Learn platform. For help with access to UM Learn, or to set up a sponsored account, please contact IST Service Desk directly. 

UM Learn

Hazard assessments and safe work procedures

  • Hazard assessments are conducted to identify materials, equipment and activities that pose a risk to human health and safety or to the environment. Where hazards are identified, we must implement control measures to eliminate or reduce the risk.

    Control measures are selected by utilizing the hierarchy of controls. When possible, the priority is to eliminate the hazard completely or make a substitution. If doing those is not possible, various engineering and administrative controls are commonly developed between the EHSO and stakeholders. Personal Protective Equipment is used only as a last resort, where more effective controls are not possible or while they are being implemented. 

    Safe work procedures reflect the hazard assessment and document the specific actions that need to be taken to prevent injury or illness. Safe work procedures for various work tasks and instructions for creating a new safe work procedure can be found on the Workplace Safety and Health UM Intranet page. For assistance, please contact EHSO.

  • A graph of "Hierarchy of controls". The most effective to least effective controls are elimination, substitution, engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Personal protective equipment

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) programs are in place to ensure that employees can obtain and properly use PPE in work and learning activities where other measures cannot fully control the hazard. The programs provide procedures and training for all types of PPE including information indicating their selection, use, inspection and maintenance.

  • Safety Footwear
  • Safety Eyewear
  • Hearing Protection
  • Respirators
  • Gloves
  • Hard Hats
  • Hi-Vis Clothing
  • Fall Restraint Equipment

Working alone

Where any employee is working alone or in isolation, a hazard assessment is required. The control measures in place to mitigate risk while working alone must be documented in a safe work plan.

If you work alone or in isolation and require assistance in creating a working alone plan, please visit the Workplace Safety and Health page on the UM Intranet.  

Harassment and violence prevention programs

The University of Manitoba manages harassment and violence prevention within programs located in the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management, Security Services and the Environmental Health & Safety Office. Please contact any of our offices for more specific program information.

Policies, procedures and forms within these programs can be found here.

If you are dealing with an issue of harassment or violence, contact the Human Rights and Conflict Management Office.

As an employer, the University of Manitoba is required to provide annual reports regarding known incidents of violence on campus. This report is provided to the Organizational Safety and Health Advisory (OSHA) Committee for review and discussion.

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Environmental Health and Safety
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University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada

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University of Manitoba (Bannatyne Campus)