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Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)

Mandatory Health and Safety Training deadline – July 1, 2014

The Ontario Government introduced Ontario Reg. 297/13, Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training that requires employers to provide mandatory health and safety awareness training.  Training must be provided to all workers and supervisors “as soon as practicable” commencing July 1, 2014.

Training Requirements

Workers must receive training and instruction on:Workplace_Safety_Signs

  • Duties and rights of workers under the OHSA;
  • Duties of employers and supervisors under the OHSA;
  • Role of health and safety representatives and joint health and safety committees under the OHSA;
  • Role of the Ministry of Labour, Workplace Safety Insurance Board, health and safety associations, medical clinics or training centers designated under the OHSA;
  • Common workplace hazards;
  • Requirements in the WHMIS regulation with respect to information and instruction on controlled products;
  • Occupational illness, including latency.

The OHSA defines worker to include any person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation.  Therefore, the training obligation may extend beyond employees to contractors and others who supply services to the Employer.

Supervisors, in addition to the foregoing training, must within one (1) week of performing work as a supervisor, receive training that includes instruction on:

  • How to recognize, assess and control workplace hazards and evaluate those controls;
  • Sources of information on occupational health and safety.

Supervisor is defined to include any person who “has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker”. This training will likely extend beyond supervisors and managers and include lead hands and other employees who supervise work or have authority over other employees.

Exemptions to Training

There are narrow exemptions from the mandatory training where:

  • Workers or supervisors provide proof that they have previously completed training and employers can verify the training was inclusive of the topics listed above;
  • Supervisors already working as supervisors for the employer prior to July 2, 2014 where training has been completed inclusive of the topics listed above;
  • If there is an existing exemption and proof is provided of that exemption.

Record Keeping

Employers are required to maintain records to demonstrate necessary training has been completed or that they were properly exempt from the training requirement.  Upon request, Employers must be ready to provide workers or supervisors with written proof of exemption or completion of training.  The record keeping obligation survives the end of the employment relationship for a period of six (6) months.

Training Modules

The Ministry of Labour has developed an online training module for workers and supervisors to assist employers with compliance measures which are free of charge.  While the materials are free, Employers may wish to provide more fulsome training tailored to their specific workplace with a view to minimizing the risk of workplace accidents and health and safety concerns.

We are available to answer any questions regarding the mandatory safety awareness training or provide necessary training at your request.

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