Definitions and Terms
Below is a list of common terms and definitions. For more information or resources, click the name of the term.
ACGIH: The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.
ANSI: The American National Standards Institute.
Aerosols: a suspension of tiny particles or droplets in the air, such as dusts, mists, or fumes. These particles may be inhaled or absorbed by the skin, and can sometimes cause adverse health effects for workers.
Asbestos: is a generic name given to a fibrous variety of six naturally occurring minerals that have been used for decades in thousands of commercial products. These minerals have been used in many products, including insulation and fireproofing materials, automotive brakes and textile products, and cement and wallboard materials.
Avian influenza: (or bird flu) is a poultry disease caused by viruses that normally infect birds. This disease is caused by a number of type A influenza viruses. These avian influenza viruses usually do not infect humans. However, cases have occurred in humans outside Canada. The disease can be transmitted to poultry workers or others who contact infected poultry or contaminated surfaces.
Biological Hazards: caused by organisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, dusts, molds or other living organisms.
Blood borne Infectious Diseases: Exposures to blood and other body fluids occur across a wide variety of occupations. Workers can be exposed to blood through needle stick and other sharps injuries, mucous membrane, and skin exposures. The pathogens of primary concern are the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV).
Bloodborne Pathogens: A hazard that is carried by the blood. An employee may be exposed to a bloodborne pathogen when another employee receives a cut or injury that results in bleeding.
Bulletin Board: An employer or prime contractor must provide a bulletin board in a prominent place in the workplace that is readily accessible to workers for the exclusive use of committee members, the representative, or both, in connection with safety and health matters.
Chemical hazards: caused by solids, liquids, vapours, gases, dust, fumes or mists, such as battery acids, solvents, etc.
Confined Space: An enclosed or partially enclosed space that a.) except for the purpose of performing work, is not primarily designed or intended for human occupancy; and b.) has restricted means of access or egress.
Contact dermatitis: also called eczema, is defined as an inflammation of the skin resulting from exposure to a hazardous agent.
Contractor: Means a person who, pursuant to one or more contracts, directs the activities of one or more employers or self-employed persons involved in work at a workplace.
CSA: The Canadian Standards Association.
Discriminatory Action: Means any act or omission by an employer or any person acting under the authority of the employer or any union which adversely affects any term or condition of employment, or of membership in a union, and without restricting the generality of the foregoing includes lay-off, suspension, dismissal, loss of opportunity for promotion, demotion, transfer of duties, change of location of workplace, reduction in wages, or change in working hours but does not include the temporary relocation of a worker to other similar or equivalent work without loss of pay or benefits until a condition that threatens the safety or health of the worker is remedied.
Due Diligence: Due diligence is the level of judgment, care, prudence, determination and activity that a person would reasonably be expected to do under particular circumstances.
Due diligence is the most important defense available to any person or corporation charged with an infraction of the Canada Labour Code and Regulations or the Workplace Safety and Health Act and it’s regulations.
Emergency Response Planning (ERP): The purpose of an Emergency Response Plan is to protect the health and safety of employees and visitors while on company property, ensure full and effective mobilization of emergency response capability to prevent injury, protect property and minimize losses arising from a catastrophic event and to facilitate an expedient return to partial or complete operation following an interruption.
Employee Rights: The right to refuse unsafe work, the right to participate in workplace health and safety activities through the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) or an employee health and safety representative, and the right to know actual and potential dangers in the workplace.
Employee’s Responsibilities: To work in compliance with the OH&S Act and Regulations, to use personal protective equipment and clothing as directed by the employer, and to report workplace hazards and dangers.
Employer: Includes a.) every person who, by himself or his agent or representative employs or engages one or more workers, and b.) the Crown and every agency of the government.
Equipment Safety: Part of a good health and safety program and being due diligent is to ensure all equipment and tools are in good working order, have guards and are properly sanitized. There should be written policies and procedures in place for inspections, maintenance and defective equipment.
Ergonomic Hazard: A physical factor within the environment that harms the musculoskeletal system. Ergonomic hazards include uncomfortable workstation height and poor body positioning.
Fall Arrest System: A fall protection system that is designed to stop a workers fall before the worker hits the surface below.
Fall Protection System: When the use of a guardrail system is not reasonably practicable or would not be effective, an employer must ensure that the worker is protected by at least one of the following fall protection systems: a.) a travel restraint system; b.) a fall arrest system; c.) a safety net; d.) another fall protection system approved by the director.
Fire Safety: An employer must develop and implement safe work procedures for fire and explosive hazards in the workplace. It is important to have it posted and communicated to all staff. Staff should know the location of fire extinguishers, exits, fire suppression system, and what to do in case of fire or emergency.
All chemicals should be stored within their compatible classes; flammables should be kept in a secured flammable cabinet. Fire extinguishers, emergency lights and suppression systems must be inspected in accordance with Manitoba Fire Code.
Harassment: Any objectionable conduct, comment, or display by a person that is a.) objectionable, if it is based on race, creed, religion, colour, sex, sexual orientation, gender-determined characteristics, marital status, family status, source of income, political belief, political association, political activity, disability, physical size or weight, age, nationality, ancestry, or place of origin; or b.) severe, if it could reasonably cause a worker to be humiliated or intimidated and is repeated, or in the case of a single occurrence, has a lasting, harmful effect on a worker.
Hazard: A hazard is any activity, situation or substance that can cause harm. Categorizing the hazard(s) helps to determine the type of control(s) that may be necessary to protect workers.
Hazard Identification and Control: Employers must have a system to identify and control hazards. The system must a.) Identify known and potential dangers to workers and enable workers to bring forward concerns about hazards b.) Assess the associated risks (i.e. is there a risk of permanent disability, temporary disabling injury, etc.)and c.) Implement measures to eliminate or control hazards. These measures may include redesigning a work process, substituting a safe chemical for a hazardous one, buying new equipment or using other controls such as machine guards and noise enclosures, etc.
Health: means the condition of being sound in body, mind and spirit, and shall be interpreted in accordance with the objects and purposes of the Workplace Safety and Health Act.
Hot Work: Any work that produces arcs, sparks, flames, heat, or other sources of ignition.
Indoor Environmental Quality: refers to the quality of the air in an office or other building environments. Workers are often concerned that they have symptoms or health conditions from exposures to contaminants in the buildings where they work
Influenza: An acute contagious viral infection characterized by inflammation of the respiratory tract and by fever, chills, muscular pain, and prostration.
Inspections: Workplace inspections are an important part of your safety and health program. In part 7.4(5) of the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Act requires a schedule for the regular inspection of the workplace and work processes and procedures at the workplace.
Internal Responsibility System (IRS): The internal responsibility system puts in place an employee-employer partnership in ensuring a safe and disease free workplace. A health and safety committee is a joint forum for employers and employees working together to improve workplace health and safety.
Isolated Workplace: A workplace that is normally accessible only by air; or from which under normal travel conditions and using the means of transportation used at the workplace in an emergency, an ill or injured worker cannot be transported from the workplace to a medical facility within two hours or less.
Job Hazard Analysis (JHA):Usually conducted after you have developed an inventory of all the critical tasks performed in your workplace. A Job Hazard Analysis is a procedure designed to study the job for any potential hazards caused by the machine, surrounds or the worker.
A JHA is an effective tool in breaking down specific job tasks in order to determine the hazards involved in the tasks and what is required to prevent injuries and/or accidents.
Lockout: The disconnection, blocking or bleeding of all sources of energy that may create a motion or action by any part of a machine and its auxiliary equipment.
Manufacturer’s Specifications: a.) The written specifications, instructions, or recommendations provided by the manufacturer of equipment or supplies that describe how the equipment or supplies are to be constructed, erected, installed, assembled, examined, inspected, started, operated, used, handled, stored, stopped, calibrated, adjusted, maintained, repaired or dismantled; and b.) an instruction, maintenance and operating manual, including any diagrams, for the equipment or supplies.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS): Mandatory information that must accompany almost every chemical in the workplace except for items like cleaning supplies. An MSDS includes details such as the risks, precautions, and first aid procedures associated with the chemical.
Monitoring: A review of information obtained from regular inspections to identify where immediate action is needed. Identify trends and obtain timely feedback. The health and safety committee should review the progress of the recommendations, especially when they pertain to the education and training of employees. It is also the committee’s responsibility to study the information from regular inspections. This will help in identifying trends for the maintenance of an effective health and safety program.
Musculoskeletal Injuries (MSI): An injury or disorder of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, nerves, blood vessels or related soft tissue, including a sprain, strain or inflammation that may occur to a worker in a workplace and that is caused or aggravated by any of the following: a repetitive motion, a forceful exertion, vibration, mechanical compression, a sustained or awkward posture, a limitation on motion or action, or any other factor that creates a risk of musculoskeletal injury. In the accommodation and food service industry, 40% of the loss time injuries were musculoskeletal. Occupational Ergonomics is the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population - “Fitting the task to the worker.” In 2002 Manitoba brought forth some new statues that require employers to do a risk assessment and put in control measures if they are aware or have been advises that work activity creates a risk of musculoskeletal injury.
Noise: The hospitality industry can be a noisy environment. Noisy cooking processes, beeping signals, dishwashers, ventilation, coffee grinders, housekeeping activities, laundry, music in bars and talking to guests and colleagues are all part of the job. If you have to raise your voice to talk to someone standing one metre away, you may have a noise problem. Repetitive noise over long periods may be very harmful and have long term effects. There are certain requirements an employer must implement if the noise level is at or above 85 dB.
Occupational Health and Safety Legislation: the purpose of the legislation is to protect you, the employee against the hazards on the job. It outlines the general rights and responsibilities of the employer, the supervisor and the employee.
Owner: In relation to any land or premises used or to be used as a workplace, includes a.) a trustee, receiver, mortgagee in possession, tenant, lessee or occupier of the land or premises, and b.) a person who acts as an agent or delegate of a person mentioned in clause a.), but does not include a person who occupies premises used as a private residence, unless that person carries on a business, profession or trade at that residence.
Pandemic Influenza: We are all aware of the potential of a pandemic Influenza outbreak occurring in our Province. This of course, will have a huge impact on our workplaces. What would you do if 40-60% of your staff did not show up for work? Businesses are encouraged to be prepared by having written plans and procedures in place.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):Policies and procedures should be in place as to how Personal Protective Equipment should be cleaned, fitted and inspected. All staff required to wear personal protective equipment, should also have specific training on when, how to wear and maintain it properly.
Physical Hazards: A factor within the environment that can harm the body without necessarily touching it. Vibration and noise are examples of physical hazards.
Policy Statement: A workplace safety and health policy is a statement of principles and general guidelines that shows your commitment to safety and health. It tells workers, suppliers, contracted employers, self employed people and clients about the organization’s commitment to safety and health.
Pressurized Gas: Pressurized gas for the purpose of dispensing drinks is commonly used in the hospitality industry. Accidents can occur when handling dispense gas installations. In many restaurants, pressurized gas bottles are located in poorly ventilated areas. Know the hazards and implement safety procedures in the use, storage and handling of these cylinders.
Prevention Posters: A comprehensive list of downloadable posters including safety tips on specific and common hazards in the restaurant and food service industry.
Psychosocial Hazards: Affect the psychological well-bring and are linked to factors such as shift work, work pace, production demands or threats to personal safety resulting from crime, workplace violence and harassment.
Refusing Unsafe Work: The Occupational Health and Safety Act gives the worker a right to refuse work that he/she believes to be unsafe. The Act sets out a specific procedure that must be followed in a work refusal. It is important that workers, employers, supervisors and health and safety representatives understand this procedure.
Reporting a Serious Incident -To report workplace health and safety serious incidents, injuries and fatalities please call us at (204) 945-3446 or toll-free in Manitoba at 1-866-888-8186. After hours call (204) 945-0581.
Return to Work (Employers Obligations) - Manitoba Legislation requires employers who have 25 or more full-time or regular part-timne workers to re-employ injured workers who were in their employ for at least 12 contiuous months prior to their injuries.
Return to Work Program - A return to work (RTW) program is a company-wide program that outlines the policy, processes, and procedures that will be used to help a worker safely return to work following an injury or illness. Ideally a RTW program should link with an employer’s health and safety program.
Risk Assessment: Is the process where you identify hazards, analyze or evaluate the risk associated with that hazard, and determine appropriate ways to eliminate or control the hazard.
Robbery Prevention: Employees who work along or in isolation are at an increased risk to robbery. It is important to have written policies and procedures in place and ensure all staff are properly trained on what to do in a potential robbery situation.
Safeguard: A device designed to prevent danger, accidents, incidents, injury, property loss, etc.
Safe Work Procedures (SWP): Safe Work Procedures must be developed and implemented for the work carried out at your workplace (Section 2.1 Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulations, M.R. 217/2006). SWP are developed by summarizing the important information you identified while conducting a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA).
Safety: Means the prevention of physical injury to workers and the prevention of physical injury to other persons arising out of or in connection with activities in the workplace.
Safety and Health Officer: A safety and health officer will make such inspections and inquiries, and carry out such tests, as he deems necessary to ascertain whether compliance is being made with the provisions of the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Act and Regulations. A safety and health officer may also enter a workplace where he/she believes workers are or were working without a warrant or prior notification.
SCBA: Self-contained breathing apparatus.
Seasonal Workers: Workers who specialize in seasonal work often aren’t as thoroughly prepared or versed in health and safety protocol as those who do their jobs year-round.
SAFE Manitoba has developed a Seasonal Worker Safety and Health Orientation program that is designed to help employers improve health and safety procedures amongst their seasonal staff.
Self Assessment Tools: Self Assessment Tools are designed to assist businesses in evaluating how they might better focus or improve their safety program to reduce the number of incidents and injuries in the workplace. It is also a means of due diligence and having adequate documentation of program evaluations and control.
Serious Incident: A serious incident is defined as this. When a serious incident occurs at a workplace, the employer is required to notify the Workplace Safety and Health Division immediately, by the fastest means of communication possible.
Statement of Responsibility: Employers, supervisors and workers are all legally responsible for safety and health in the workplace. Everyone must be individually accountable for carrying out his or her responsibility.
Put responsibilities for safety and health into every job description in the organization. Make specific manager and supervisors accountable for implementing each program element. For example, name the employee(s) responsible for ordering safety equipment, managing maintenance and supplying the resources required for work to be done safely.
Step Ladder Safety: Many incidents and injuries occur in the hospitality industry while using step ladders. It is important to follow safe work procedures when performing tasks while using step ladders.
Supervisor: A person who has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker.
Supplier: A person who supplies, sells, leases, installs or provides a.) any tool, equipment, machine or device, or b.) any biological substance or chemical substance, to be used in a workplace.
Tag-Out: The placement of a tag on a machine, tool or piece of equipment that states that workers are not to start or operate the machine, tool or piece of equipment.
Thermal Stress: Thermal stress is defined as the physical and physiological reactions of the worker to temperatures that fall outside of the worker’s normal comfort zone.
Threshold Limit Value: The threshold limit value for a chemical or biological substance established in the ACGIH publication, Threshold Limit Value for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Indices.
Travel Restraint System: A fall protection system that is designed to prevent a worker from travelling to a location where there is a risk of falling.
Violence: Is defined as a.) the attempted or actual exercise of physical force against a person; and b.) any threatening statement or behavior that gives a person reasonable cause to believe that physical force will be used against the person.
Worker: Is a.) any person who is employed by an employer to perform a service whether for gain or reward, or hope of gain or reward or not, b.) any person engaged by another person to perform services, whether under a contract of employment or not, i.) who performs work or services for another person for compensation or reward on such terms and conditions that he is, in relation to that person, in a position of economic dependence upon that person more closely resembling the relationship of any employee than that of an independent contractor, and ii.) who works or performs services in a workplace which is owned or operated by the person who engages him to perform services, c.) any person undergoing training or serving an apprenticeship at an educational institution or at any other place.
Workers Compensation Board: The workers compensation system is an injury and disability insurance system for workers and employers, paid for by employers.
Worker Safety and Health Representative: Each employer shall cause a worker not associated with management to be designated as the worker safety and health representative a.) at a workplace, other than a construction project, where a safety and health committee is not required but where ten or more workers are regularly employed; b.) at a construction project, notwithstanding the requirements for a safety and health committee; and c.) at any other individual workplace or classes of workplace which the minister may designate.
Working Alone: The performance of any work function by a worker who is the only worker for that employer at that workplace at any time; and is not directly supervised by the employer, or another person designated as a supervisor by the employer, at any time.
Working in Isolation: Means working in circumstances where assistance is not readily available in the event of injury, ill health or emergency.
Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS): It is a comprehensive plan for providing information on the safe use of hazardous materials used in Canadian workplaces. Information is provided by means of product labels, material safety data sheets (MSDS) and worker education programs. An employee must ensure that a worker who works with or near a controlled product receives training.
Workplace Safety and Health Act and Regulations: The Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Act and Regulations is a large volume containing the regulatory requirements for all workplaces in Manitoba. The Act outlines the shared responsibility and workers rights. It gives specific information of the general duties of an employer, supervisors, workers, committees, etc. The Regulations has 44 parts and it provides additional details on how to meet the responsibilities and duties as laid out in the Act.
Workplace Safety and Health Committee: Every employer shall establish a workplace safety and health committee a.) for each workplace where at least twenty of the employer’s workers are regularly employed; and b.) for any other individual workplace or class of workplace designated by written order of the director.
Workplace Incidents: When a serious incident occurs at a workplace, an employer must immediately and by the fastest means of communication available, notify the division of the incident and provide specific information.
Young Workers: Young Workers, ages 15-24 are at a greater risk of being seriously injured than any other age group. In Manitoba, young workers incur 45% of the injuries compared to 17% in all sectors. New workers have 5 to 7 times the risk of injury during the first 4 weeks of a new job. Owners and employers can help prevent accidents to young workers by proper training, education and evaluation.