One key recommendation of the Dean Panel, which diligent readers will recall from the 80 page report and 46 recommendations released December 2010, was proposed mandatory OHS training for a number of workplace parties. Dean’s recommendations to reform Ontario’s OHS system raised the concern that health and safety representatives, workers and supervisors are not adequately trained and informed of key workplace party roles and workplace rights and should have mandatory training to support the internal responsibility system.
Ontario has been slowly moving forward on those recommendations. Consultation on mandatory training has now commenced. On December 6, 2012, the Ontario MOL posted a notice of consultation on mandatory health and safety training for all workers and supervisors. Minimum content requirements from the Dean Panel report have been listed and stakeholders have been asked to provide input into the following:
- Worker awareness training and its content;
- Supervisory awareness training and its content; and
- Accessibility and portability of training records for worker and supervisory training.
Stakeholders have until February 4, 2013 to provide input to the Awareness Training Programs Regulation Project at the MOL. Harkening back to the comments and recommendations of the Dean Panel, stakeholders may wish to keep in mind, for purposes of any input to the MOL, that Dean had:
- Proposed mandatory entry level health and safety training for all workers and supervisors which would be free of charge to workers, supervisors and employers.
- Recommended that appropriate established employer programs providing basic entry level worker training would be grandfathered;
- Recommended mandatory construction worker training – this does not appear to be on the tab le as part of the proposal to introduce mandatory worker training, but this is not entirely clear from the MOL notice;
- Recommended mandatory fall protection training for all workers performing work at heights, and this is also not mentioned in the MOL notice.
It should be noted that the MOL has yet to define the scope of the “supervisor” definition for purposes of training. This raises the question of whether all lead hands or working forepersons will require this training.
We will keep readers informed of the MOL’s progress on mandatory training programs, necessary regulatory changes and the content and timing of those regulations. Readers with questions can contactl Cheryl Edwards: [email protected], Jeremy Warning: [email protected], Kevin MacNeill: [email protected] or Samantha Seabrook: [email protected] of our national OHS & Workers’ Compensation Practice Group.