Ontario Regulation 297/13 (the “Regulation”), made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, mandates that employers ensure that their workers and supervisors complete a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program. The Regulation also sets out those matters that must be included in the training program. If the worker or supervisor completed a training program prior to the Regulation coming into force in July 2014, the training does not need to be repeated, provided that the current employer has proof of the training and can verify that the previous training meets the Regulation’s requirements.
An employer must keep a record of the training that is completed by its workers and supervisors, as well as by the workers and supervisors of its contractors.
Effective April 1, 2015, there are new obligations that apply to an employer regarding workers at construction projects, regulated by Ontario Regulation 213/91 (the “Construction Project Regulation”). These obligations apply where workers are required under the Construction Project Regulation to use at least one of the following methods of fall protection:
- a travel restraint system
- a fall restricting system
- a fall arrest system
- a safety net
- a work belt
- a safety belt.
In any of those situations, an employer must ensure that (1) the worker has successfully completed a compliant working-at-heights training program and (2) the validity period of the training has not expired. The requirement for record keeping also applies to workingat-heights training. A compliant program must be approved by the Ontario Chief Prevention Officer (“CPO”) as meeting the applicable working-at-heights training program standard. The training provider for the program must be also be approved by the CPO as meeting the applicable standard. The Ministry of Labour website contains a list of approved providers.
This training is valid for three years from the date of the successful completion of the training. In a situation where a worker completed the appropriate training prior to April 1, 2015, such training is only valid for a period of two years.