Questions Candidates Should Ask about Occupational Health and Safety
Starting a new job is an exciting prospect – so exciting, in fact, that sometimes it can cloud our better judgment. Once you’ve been offered a position, there are still questions you need to ask of your new employer, particularly when it comes to occupational health and safety. To ensure you stay safe on the job, remember to ask the following:
Will there be an orientation on my first day?
Orientations should cover occupational health and safety protocol. During orientation, remember to ask any questions that come to mind. Such questions are particularly important if your job involves the operation of machinery.
Will there be refresher training?
Refresher training should be conducted regularly. Ask about the frequency of these refreshers and why they are as frequent/infrequent as they are.
Who is certified in First Aid and/or CPR, and can I volunteer to be certified?
It’s not enough to know that there are First Aid- or CPR-certified individuals in the workplace. Knowing who they are is even more important. It’s also a good idea to take the training yourself; ask about what your employer can do to help you out.
How do I obtain First Aid?
Apart from the certified individuals in the workplace, ensure you know where First Aid kits are located and any other safety protocols involved.
To whom should I report an injury, accident, or hazard?
There should be a designated authority to deal with such situations. Find out who they are and where they are located.
What do I do in an emergency?
Should something occur that requires more than First Aid, be sure you know what to do beyond simply dialing 9-1-1.
Where is the muster point?
The muster point is where everyone in the workplace meets a certain distance away from the building during emergencies or practice drills.
What kinds of regular company-wide meetings are held, and what safety issues do they address?
Beyond orientation and training, find out what information is disclosed on wider meetings, and whether that content differs from what you learn in more specific sessions.
Is there an active Joint Health and Safety Committee and Health and Safety rep on site?
Joint health and safety committees are made up of a mix of management and labour representatives. Employers are responsible for setting up such committees, and the law provides guidelines regarding their organization and meeting frequency. To ensure your new employer is truly concerned about occupational health and safety, it’s important to get this information and compare it to the legislation. Also find out who the onsite Health and Safety Representative is. He or she can be approached to answer your more detailed questions.