Industrial workers in machine shops or other small manufacturing plants are exposed to a multitude of safety hazards. These hazards often go unreported because they are seen as inherent to the job. However, the consequences of safety hazards do not go unnoticed. They include injuries such as bruises, burns, cuts, shocks or electrocution, amputations and hearing loss. As well, new tools, equipment, products or work procedures can introduce new and unexpected hazards. Workers and supervisors must learn how documenting and reporting these hazards can help lead to proper assessment, adequate controls, and ultimately a safer work environment.
To this end, the Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) has developed a three-hour Safety Hazards
training program for industrial workplaces. This unique training program is designed for on-site delivery with an emphasis on assisting the process for identifying and reporting workplace-specific hazards. In this regard, it supports the efforts of the joint health and safety committee or worker representative.
Using active lectures and group discussions, instructors and participants will address related safety hazards, applicable controls and safe work procedures/standards for the following:
Walking working surfaces
Aisle-way and exit infringement
Debris and poor housekeeping
Manual material handling
Storage and workstations
Electricity and energy systems
Tools and equipment (including hand tools).
During these discussions, participants will also learn how to apply the hierarchy of controls.
In addition, participants will review the Occupational Health and Safety Act
and discuss the rights and responsibilities of the workplace parties, including the right to refuse unsafe work.
Worksheets and exercises
The specificity of this program lies in the exercises. In order to familiarize participants with the hazards and reporting procedure form in their particular workplace, two key exercises will take place in a previously prepared area of the workplace. Instructors may need to visit the workplace beforehand to ensure the setup of a suitable area.
In one exercise, participants work in small groups to review the area in order to identify and describe safety hazards in the workplace. They will subsequently discuss their findings in the large group.
In a second exercise, participants observe a role play of a supervisor or joint committee member (usually played by the instructor) and a worker (played by a participant) discussing and documenting hazards in the prepared area. The role players will record their findings on two or three hazard reporting forms. Back in the classroom participants will work in buzz groups. Each group will work with one of the completed hazard reporting forms to identify what controls are in effect and list them according to the hierarchy of controls. They then report back to the entire group.
Generic reporting forms are available for use in workplaces that do not already have them.
This is version 2.0 of the training program, as version 1.0 was amended immediately following the program pilot.