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Health & Safety in Ontario: Are your employee’s aware?

On July 1, 2014, a new regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) will come into effect which will require all Employers to provide Health & Safety Awareness training to their employee’s. The regulation outlines what needs to be covered in the training for both workers and supervisors. The intent is to increase awareness of employee  rights and responsibilities under the OHSA as well as help identify potential  workplace health and safety issues.

It is important to note that this training does not replace any other  workplace health and safety training required under the OHSA  such as:

– Specific hazards in your workplace
– The procedure to follow when reporting health and safety concerns, incidents or injuries
– Any protective equipment you are required to wear or use
– Where the company’s health and safety policy is posted (in workplaces with more than 5 workers)
– Where the first aid station is and the names of qualified first aid providers
– The company’s emergency plan
– Information on hazardous materials in your workplace
– The workplace violence and harassment prevention policy
– Where a copy of the OHSA is posted Where the names of your joint health and safety committee members are posted

If you are already providing health and safety training to your employee’s, you should review your exhisting training content to ensure that it meets the requirements under this new regulation.  You can use our comprehensive checklists below!

Employee H&S Training Checklist

Supervisor H&S Training Checklist

For employers who do not already have health and safety training, the Ministry of Labour has developed and is offering worker and supervisor training modules online. This is an excellent (and free!) option for employer’s, which can be administered through their online module or through the pen and paper workbook. You can directly access these trainings by clicking the links below:

Worker Training:

http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/training/workers.php

 

Supervisor Training:

http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/training/supervisors.php

Training should always be provided on company time. Employers have several options for conducting the training such as:

  • Classroom style, going through the workbook modules with employees
  • Asking employees to find a quiet place for approximately 45 minutes to do the online training
  • Setting up computer work stations and assigning time slots for employees to complete trainings

Whichever training method you decide to use, you should ensure that this training is rolled out to all current employees (prior to July 1, 2014) and is incorporated into your orientation process for all new hires. Employers should also ensure that any employee promoted to a supervisory position complete the Supervisor Health and Safety Awareness training within one week of the promotion.

Once training has been completed, Employers should maintain training records for all employees. Training records should also be made available to employees upon request. New hires do not need to re-take the H&S awareness training if they have completed it at a previous employer,as long as they can provide  proof of completion (i.e. a certificate of completion).

 

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