Mandatory Health and Safety Training for All Workers and Supervisors

In a previous edition of EMPlawyers Update, we made our readers aware of the potential new Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (the Act). On November 15, 2013, existing Regulation 780/94 – Training Programs was revoked and the new Health and Safety Awareness and Training regulation was filed.

As a result, by July 1, 2014, employers must ensure that workers and supervisors complete mandatory basic occupational health and safety awareness training. The regulation specifically:

  • delineates the minimum content of both the worker and supervisor awareness training programs, including instruction on the rights and duties of workers, supervisors and employers under the OHSA, the role of joint health and safety committee and health and safety representatives, and common workplace hazards and occupational illnesses;
  • requires that employers ensure that workers complete the training program as soon as practicable, and supervisors complete the training within one week of performing work as a supervisor; and,
  • requires employers to maintain a record of training, and provide workers and supervisors with proof of completion, on request, for up to six months after the worker or supervisor stops performing work for that employer.

An exemption is provided for workers and supervisors who have previously completed an awareness training program that covers the same content as that set out in the regulation.

The Ministry of Labour has developed free awareness training programs and materials that are available online, and in many languages. Employers in both private and public sectors of Ontario should use these resources with a view to achieving full compliance by July 1, 2014.