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The new OHS requirement for worker and supervisor safety awareness training may be the first formal instruction that workers receive in the workplace with the recent Ontario Ministry of Labour’s release of the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation (O. Reg. 297/13) of the OHSA (Occupational Health and Safety Act), which comes into force on July 1, 2014.

WHMIS safety training has often been the first formal safety training offered by many employers to their workers. However, it is only required by those workers in close proximity to or working with controlled products or hazardous materials. The new regulation requires all workers and supervisors to receive very specific training at least once during their work life regardless of their position or duties within the organization.

Besides these new requirements, employers continue to have on-going duties under the OHSA to inform workers about workplace-specific hazards. These include the general duty to “provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker” [clause 25(2)(a)].

There are a number of resources available to employers as well as training opportunities at a variety of price points to assist in meeting the compliance deadline.

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