Occupational Health and Safety Act Amendments – Health and Safety Training is Now Mandatory

Dec 6, 2013

The Occupational Health and Safety Act’s new regulation mandates basic safety awareness training for all Ontario workers and supervisors – with a specific focus on small business and vulnerable workers.

Effective July 1, 2014, Ontario employers will be required to ensure that all workers and supervisors have completed a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program.

A basic occupational health and safety awareness training program for workers must include instruction on the following:

1. The duties and rights of workers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (the “Act”).

2. The duties of employers and supervisors under the Act.

3. The roles of health and safety representatives and joint health and safety committees under the Act.

4. The roles of the Ministry, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and entities designated under section 22.5 of the Act with respect to occupational health and safety.

5. Common workplace hazards.

6. The requirements set out in Regulation 860 (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) with respect to information and instruction on controlled products.

7. Occupational illness, including latency.

There are some exceptions to this general obligation:

The Ministry of Labour (MOL) has created a training program suite to help employers meet these new health and safety obligations.  All of the MOL training products are available at no cost and in multiple formats and languages.

Some employers already offer training and awareness programs that meet or exceed the new MOL mandatory training requirements. An equivalency checklist is being prepared by the MOL to help employers determine if their programs meet the new statutory requirements. Either way, as of July 1, 2014 employers need to keep records to confirm worker participation in mandatory training or its equivalent.

If you have any questions about this new employer obligation, or any other question about Ontario’s Occupational Health & Safety Act, please contact Doug MacLeod at 416 317-9894 or [email protected]

The material and information in this blog and this website are for general information only. They should not be relied on as legal advice or opinion. The authors make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of any information referred to in this blog or its links. No person should act or refrain from acting in reliance on any information found on this website or blog. Readers should obtain appropriate professional advice from a lawyer duly licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. These materials do not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and any of the authors or the MacLeod Law Firm.

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