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The new Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation (O. Reg. 297/13) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) is the new regulation that requires employers to make sure workers and supervisors complete a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program. A copy of the regulation may be downloaded at:

www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/source/regs/english/2013/elaws_src_regs_r13297_e.htm

According to the Ontario Ministry of Labour,
Employers must:
ensure that workers complete a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program as soon as reasonably possible.
ensure that supervisors complete a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program within one week of working as a supervisor.
maintain a record of the training completed by workers and supervisors, and
provide a worker or supervisor with written proof of completion of the training, if requested by the worker or supervisor (up to six months after ceasing to work for the employer).

Training for workers
The training program for workers must include instruction on:

  • the duties and rights of workers under OHSA.
  • the duties of employers and supervisors under OHSA.
  • common workplace hazards and occupational illnesses.
  • the role of joint health and safety committees (JHSCs) and of health and safety representatives under OHSA.
  • roles of the ministry, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), and Health and Safety Associations, and.
  • information and instruction requirements set out in the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) Regulation.

Training for supervisors.
The training program for supervisors must include instruction on:

  • the duties and rights of workers under OHSA.
  • the duties of employers and supervisors under OHSA.
  • how to identify, assess and manage workplace hazards, the role of joint health and safety committees (JHSCs), and of health and safety representatives under OHSA.
  • roles of the Ministry, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), and Health and Safety Associations, and
  • sources of information on occupational health and safety.

Exemptions

  • Workers and supervisors who previously completed a worker or supervisor training program, either with their current or a former employer, do not have to take the training again if they can provide proof that they completed the training and their current employer is able to verify that the training programcovered the content required by the regulation.
  • A supervisor who has completed a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program for supervisors, prior to the regulation coming into force, does not have to complete a worker trainingprogram in addition to the supervisor program.

Resources and training opportunities

The Ministry of Labour provides a number of resources and tools to help employers and other workplace parties comply with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation. Please note that employers are not required to use these specific ministry products in order to comply with the regulation as long as the training they provide covers the necessary content.
Act First Safety provides instructor-led/classroom-style and online learning to provide employers with the choice to fulfill their needs as determined.

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