The Ontario Government has introduced a regulation to the Occupational Health and Safety Act(OHSA) that would mandate that employers provide health and safety awareness training to all workers and supervisors effective July 1, 2014.
Specific Requirements of the Regulation
The health and safety awarness training for workers must deal with the following:
- the duties and rights of workers under OHSA
- the duties of employers and supervisors under OHSA
- the roles of health and safety representatives, and joint health and safety committees, under OHSA
- the roles of the Ministry of Labour (MOL), the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and other designated entities with respect to occupational health and safety
- common workplace hazards
- the requirements in the WHMIS regulation with respect to information and instruction on controlled products
- occupational illness, including latency
Workers must perform this training “as soon as practicable”.
The required training for supervisors is similar, but must also deal with the following additional topics:
- how to recognize, assess and control workplace hazards, and evaluate those controls
- sources of information on occupational health and safety
Supervisors must perform this training “within one week of performing work as a supervisor”.
The training does not have to be completed if the worker or supervisor already received training that dealt with the required topics noted above. Employers are to keep records of the completed training and provide written proof to the worker/supervisor of the completion of the training if requested. Employers must also keep records of those exempt from completing the training.
Ministry of Labour Training Modules
While the MOL’s training modules are helpful, employers should not rely on workers/supervisors undertaking the training on their own time. Instead, employers should be proactive and create their own training or, at the very least, provide time during the paid work day to complete the MOL training modules. Employees should sign off upon completion of the training and records should be kept.