OHSA Update: Along with the snow, winter safety blitzes have arrived! Plus, new awareness training requirements coming soon

Winter Safety Blitzes

The Ministry of Labour has announced that Ministry Inspectors will conduct three targeted safety blitzes at workplaces this winter.  These safety blitzes are:

Underground Mining (ventilation hazards) – January and February 2013

Workplace Violence – February and March 2013

Slips, Trips and Falls (ladder safety and fall protection hazards) – February and March 2013

The new year is always a good time to review policies and procedures to ensure that your organization is in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations.  When engaging in that review,  readers should pay special attention to the areas being targeted by the Ministry this winter. 

Awareness Training Requirements

In accordance with the recommendations of the Expert Advisory Panel on Occupational Health and Safety released in 2010, the Ministry of Labour has proposed to introduce new regulatory requirements that would require employers to ensure that all workers and supervisors complete mandatory occupational health and safety training.  The training would need to meet minimum proposed content requirements and would  need to be undertaken before or shortly after commencement of work duties.

Employers would not necessarily be required to retrain workers and supervisors that have already been trained,  but would need to conduct an assessment to ensure that workers and supervisors, whether they are current employees or new ones, do have training that meets the requirements.  The proposed regulation would explicitly require employers to keep records for their workers and supervisors in order to demonstrate compliance, and the Ministry has indicated that it will be developing resources to assist employers in this record keeping function.

The Ministry has indicated that the proposed regulation will be filed by July 1 of this year, and that it will not become effective until January 1, 2014 in order to ensure an adequate amount of time for compliance. 

The Ministry is accepting feedback on the regulatory proposal until February 4, 2013.  Those interested in providing feedback can do so through the following contacts:

Mail: Awareness Training Programs Regulation Project
             400 University Ave., 12th floor
             Toronto, ON   M7A 1T7

Email: WebHSpolicy@ontario.ca

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