- KEEP an eye out at your interview for signs that the employer takes safety seriously (e.g., warning signs in hazardous areas, employees wearing protective equipment, safety posters).
- ASK for a copy of the safety rules, if you aren't given one.
- ASK experienced employees, during training, about safety hazards.
- WRITE down the product name from the label along with the name of the manufacturer or supplier, then look up the MSDS to find out more information about a chemical.
- LEARN how to recognize the WHMIS hazards symbols and know what they mean.
- KNOW how to wear your personal protective equipment properly.
- FOLLOW all safety precautions.
- NOTIFY your supervisor if you experience any symptoms, such as headache, dizziness, irritation in your throat or eyes, or skin rashes,that might indicate that you are being overexposed to a chemical.
- DO NOT BE AFRAID (or too shy) to ask your employer to go over something to make sure you've got it right, or to ask them to watch you to make sure you are doing something correctly.
The ability to recognize potential hazards in the workplace requires not only common sense but also observation, learning and experience.
REMEMBER: If there is any doubt in your mind as to the safety of the materials you are handling or the duties of your employment, you have the right and the responsibility to bring your concerns to your supervisor's attention. Ultimately, all employees, including students, have the right to refuse to do work that is unsafe, and employers cannot fire anyone for exercising this right.