Safety Training |Legal Requirements

The Occupational Health and Safety Act says an Ontario employer who is covered by the Act, has an obligation to instruct, inform and supervise workers to protect their health and safety [section 25(2)(a)]
Employers are responsible for ensuring their staff receive training in the following areas:
  • Employees know which hazards they are being exposed to
  • Employees know how they can protect themselves, through the use of proper personal protective equipment and following proper work procedures; and
  • Employees know that their supervisor will assist them if they have any questions or concerns.

The Basics

In most cases, basic orientation for new employees starts with an overview of WHMIS -- The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. And don't forget your existing employees, all workplaces should refresh and renew their WHMIS training on a yearly basis.

New employees and young workers

Statistics show that the most likely time for an injury to occur is in the employees first three months on the job.
Why focus on new hires? The reality is that in the year 2000, the WSIB in Ontario registered 16 deaths and 16,000 injury claims for young workers ages 15 to 24.

Certification and Health & Safety Committees

Certification training is the law. The 1990 amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act require virtually all provincially regulated Ontario workplaces with 20 or more employees to establish joint health and safety committees. At least two committee members, one representing the employer and one representing the workers, must be certified through a special health and safety training program. On construction sites, certified members are required where the construction project is expected to last at least three months and 50 or more workers are regularly employed. (Farming operations, federally regulated workplaces and workplaces with fewer than 20 workers are exempt from certification training.)

Certification benefits employers. Training leads to fewer work-related injuries and illnesses as well as increased cooperation in the workplace. This could mean less time lost to absenteeism, lower compensation costs, higher morale and greater productivity.

Certification benefits workers. Employees not only gain a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities when it comes to health and safety, they benefit from a decreased risk of accident, illness and injury in the workplace.

The intent of the law is to strengthen the internal responsibility system, by giving members of joint health and safety committee's greater knowledge with which to carry out their responsibilities.

Please feel free to call for pricing and more information about your company's training needs.