If you’re considering accepting a position that requires manual labour, congratulations: you’re in for a highly rewarding, challenging, and exciting career. However, you may already know that those who plan to work in manual labour have some training and safety considerations that those in other fields may not have to think about to the same degree.
If you’re new to this type of work, it’s important to make sure you’re well-informed and know exactly what you’re getting into. Although much of this information will be included in your initial training, you should prepare in advance by becoming aware of safety risks and precautions, important training and qualification requirements, as well as your own health and safety rights as an employee. Here are a few of the tips you should know right off the bat.
1. Familiarize Yourself With The Occupational Health And Safety Act
Safety is one of the top concerns when it comes to manual labour, and prevention is the highest priority. That being said, you should know what your rights are should an accident occur. If you live in Ontario, these rights are outlined in our Occupational Health and Safety Act. The relevant documents comprising this act are easily accessible online; while you shouldn’t feel pressured to know it inside and out, take the time to briefly review its major points in advance of your start date.
2. Research Qualifications That Can Make You A Safer Worker
Maybe you were accepted to the job even though you don’t already have any safety-related qualifications or certifications. Whether you’re required to obtain these after you begin work or they’re not mandatory for your specific duties, a little extra training can go a long way both in the opportunities that are available to you and the safe habits you demonstrate in the workplace.
A rich variety of health and safety training programs and certificates are available for workers and employers alike. These include courses on the Occupational Health and Safety Act to help you better understand it, as well as more niche task-specific courses such as WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System), ladder safety, fire safety, fall protection, and confined spaces training.
3. Speak Up
While it’s important to be well-informed about all of the above points, when it comes to health and safety in the workplace, much of the effort is collaborative. If something goes wrong or assistance is needed, employers will work with employees to review and improve procedures and take preventative measures.
However, if you feel that your workplace’s safety standards are not up to par and your co-workers are demonstrating unsafe habits, don’t be afraid to speak up. Discuss your concerns with your manager and/or health and safety committee. If that doesn’t work, you can contact the Ministry of Labour, where inspectors are required to enforce the OHSA. As well, remember that you always have the right to refuse unsafe work.
4. Monitor Your Own Health
When working in a physically demanding position, some degree of physical discomfort is inevitable. You may feel pressured to ignore pain or discomfort due to the fear of losing your job or falling behind. Make sure you speak to your supervisor and see a doctor if you are worried about your own health and remember that neglecting minor strains and injuries can lead to worsened problems down the road.
Ready for a rewarding manual labour job? Now that you know a few key points about this type of work, connect with the All Personnel Recruitment Team to start down your new career path. Give us a call today at (800) 895-8897!