Manitoba Workplace Safety & Health Act and Regulations (WSHA)
The Manitoba WSHA is benchmark legislation aimed at ensuring workers remain healthy and safe at or arising out of, or in connection with their workplaces. The Act defines an Occupational Health Nurse (OHN) as a Registered Nurse with specialized expertise as defined in The Registered Nurses Act. OHNs support the health and safety of all workplace stakeholders, particularly workers (go HERE to learn more about OHN scope of practice). Section 17 (3) of the WSHA further clarifies certain authorizations afforded to the OHN by the Chief Occupational Medical Officer (if written authorization is provided).
Source: Manitoba HSA Act
A Note to Employers...
Non-compliance with the WSHA can be very costly and is risky to the health and safety of the workforce. OHNs are knowledgeable of the WSHA and can assist companies to comply with legislation. OHNs are also competent to provide the necessary training to build the capacity of managers, supervisors and other workplace stakeholders, especially health and safety committees, to stay compliant.
OHNs Support Legislative Compliance
OHNs play a vital role in promoting health and safety and preventing injuries. The OHN has a unique skill set and includes:
Clinical practice (health exams, pre-placement medicals, performing audiograms, spirometry, and visual acuity testing, and conducting health surveillance programs)
Health promotion (wellness programs, health and safety education, vaccinations for job-specific risks, ergonomics, and Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention
Research, policy development, reviewing illness/injury statistics
Workplace monitoring of noise, air quality, lighting, performing risk assessments
Return to work, disability management
Referral to the community and other workplace resources (e.g. benefits, community healthcare providers)