Yesterday, we offered some advice to those applying for jobs, and ideas for new hires.  Our main focus was to help them question what the company expects of them and if there are hazards associated with their job duties.  We’ve all had to start with a  first job, and it is overwhelming to learn each facet of the things you will be doing, and getting to know all of your coworkers.  The most important part of getting off on the right foot is to know when and how to talk to your boss.  This may not only include the top executive of the company, but your supervisor as well. 

Let’s begin with when to talk to your boss……..

  • You feel that you need someone to watch you do the job and make sure you are doing it right.
  • You know there is a hazard.
  • You need more training and information.
  • You feel there is something in the work that could endanger you or a coworker.
  • You have an idea on how to make the work safer.
  • There is any type of question about your job.
  • Anytime you feel there has been a change to a term or condition of your working arrangement. 
  • Wait until he or she is not in a bad mood!

How to talk to your boss…………

  • Be polite and respectful.
  • Write down your concerns so your boss may review it later. 
  • Don’t blame individuals.
  • Avoid confrontational words and behavior.
  • Keep a positive attitude and speak out of concern for your safety and others.
  • Watch your body language.
  • Make a suggestion to solve the problem if you can.
  • State your issue or what you would like, clearly and concisely.
  • Be positive about both your job and the future of the company. 

When asked about the things that most executives and supervisors appreciate about their employees, they answered:  those with positive attitudes, that are ready to help coworkers, are prepared by anticipating things that will need to be done in order to successfully complete the project, and have the initiative to do things without being told.  A smart worker knows how to save the company time and money.  A hard worker may stay up all night to complete a project; a smart worker finds a way to do it in half the time, or delegates the assignment in order to finish successfully.  It takes hard workers and smart workers, (many are both), to make a company productive. 

If you feel that you have been informed of the hazards or risks associated with the job duties you will be performing, remember that you should be equipped with the proper personal protective equipment, PPE, and that it fits and protects you.  If it doesn’t fit, let your supervisor know.  It won’t protect you if you don’t wear it, whether it’s safety glasses, gloves, coveralls, or a hardhat.  Follow the safety rules and policies and procedures that your company has posted.  Get the right training and work safely. 

If you asked questions about health or safety concerns, or if you don’t have the health and safety training you need, tell your supervisor immediately.  If he or she cannot or does not solve the problem, it is alright to say “no” to unsafe work.  You have the right to refuse work that you think is unsafe; this is the law.  Until the issue is resolved, you will be kept from the unsafe work.  A process that has been set out in Occupational Safety and Health Act will be followed.  This is fully explained on the OSHA website in the U.S., or in Canada, you can contact your Ministry of Labour. 

Sources: WorkSmart Ontario, OSHA