Ministry of Labour Ontario Safety Training Regulation Released!

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In Dec. 2012, the Ontario MOL proposed a regulation that would require employers to ensure that all workers and supervisors complete mandatory OHS awareness training, as recommended in the Dean Report. The MOL sought and considered comments from stakeholders on the proposed regulation.

On Nov. 15, 2013, the MOL released the final regulation, which will take effect on July 1, 2014. Here’s an overview of it.

THE REGULATION

Who It Applies to: The regulation applies to all workplaces covered by the OHS Act regardless of size or industry sector and anyone who meets the definitions of “worker” and “supervisor” under the Act.

Worker Requirements: An employer must ensure that a worker who performs work for it completes a basic OHS awareness training program as soon as practicable that includes instruction on the following:

  • The duties and rights of workers under the Act;
  • The duties of employers and supervisors under the Act;
  • The roles of health and safety representatives and JHSCs under the Act;
  • The roles of the MOL, WSIB and entities designated under Sec. 22.5 of the Act with respect to occupational health and safety;
  • Common workplace hazards, including:
    • Slipping, tripping or falling,
    • Working near motorized vehicles,
    • Using or working near machinery,
    • Workplace violence, and
    • Repeating the same movements over and over, especially if you’re in an awkward position or use a lot of force;
  • The requirements set out in the WHMIS regulation with respect to information and instruction on controlled products; and
  • Occupational illness, including latency.

Supervisor Requirements: An employer must ensure that a supervisor who performs work for it completes a basic OHS awareness training program that meets the following requirements within one week of performing work as a supervisor:

  • The duties and rights of workers under the Act;
  • The duties of employers and supervisors under the Act;
  • The roles of health and safety representatives and JHSCs under the Act;
  • The roles of the MOL, WSIB and entities designated under Sec. 22.5 of the Act with respect to occupational health and safety;
  • How to recognize, assess and control workplace hazards, and evaluate those controls; and
  • Sources of information on occupational health and safety.

Exceptions: The requirement that workers and supervisors complete the above training doesn’t apply if:

  • The worker or supervisor previously completed a basic OHS awareness training program and provides the employer with proof of completion of the training; and
  • The employer verifies that the previous training meets the training program requirements set out the regulation.

In addition, the training requirements for workers don’t apply to an employer as to a supervisor if:

  • Before the Regulation took effect (July 1, 2014), the supervisor was performing work as a supervisor for the employer; and
  • The employer verifies that, before this Regulation took effect, the supervisor completed a basic OHS awareness training program that meets the requirements set out in the regulation.

Lastly, the training requirements for workers don’t apply to an employer with respect to a worker or supervisor if:

  • Another employer was exempt with respect to the worker or supervisor as described above; and
  • The worker or supervisor provides the employer with proof of that exemption.

Recordkeeping: Employers must maintain a record of the basic OHS awareness training programs completed by its workers and supervisors as well as a record of workers and supervisors who perform work for it with respect to whom the employer is exempt.

If a worker or supervisor completes an OHS awareness training program, the employer must, at their request, provide them with written proof of completion of the training. And if within six months of a worker or supervisor no longer performing work for the employer the worker or supervisor requests written proof of completion of awareness training, the employer must provide such written proof. Lastly, if an employer is exempt with respect to a supervisor, it must, at the supervisor’s request, provide him with written proof of the exemption.

JHSCs: The regulation also requires employers to carry out, including paying for, the training programs necessary to enable a JHSC member to become a certified member. Such programs must be selected in accordance with the training and other requirements established by the Chief Prevention Officer under Sec. 7.6 of the Act.

Deadline: Employers must be in compliance with the regulation when it takes effect on July 1, 2014.

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