Supervisor Awareness Training: It’s a Legislated Training Requirement!

Supervisor Awareness Training: It’s a Legislated Training Requirement!

There are several mandatory training requirements out there, and they can be hard to keep track of! This article shines a light on the requirement of employers to provide supervisors (anyone who has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker) with adequate health and safety training.   

History of Supervisor Awareness Legislation

On July 1st, 2014, it was made mandatory that Ontario employers have supervisors complete a basic supervisor awareness training course. The goal of supervisor awareness training is to ensure that the definition of competence under the Act is being satisfied by all persons appointed to supervisory roles, and to improve occupational health and safety for the Ontario workforce. Expectations placed on supervisors are high. Basic safety awareness training breaks down roles and responsibilities under the Act, and directly relates them to the safety of the workers being supervised.

 What is Competency Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act?

In the health and safety industry, the word “competency” gets used frequently. But what is competency? Competency under the Occupational Health and Safety Act is defined as:

“A person who,

  • Is qualified because of this knowledge, training, and experience to organize the work and its performance,
  • Is familiar with this Act and the regulations that apply to the work, and
  • Has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace.”

When the word competency is used with respect to health and safety, it is important that it is understood to mean competency as defined under the Act.

Do Supervisors Need to be Competent?

Under section 25.2(c) of the Act, employers are obligated to appoint a competent person when appointing supervisors. Employers must ensure workers complete the training as soon as possible. For supervisors, the training must be completed within one week of performing work as a supervisor. One of the biggest topics covered in training is common workplace hazards.

Common Workplace Hazards

Common workplace hazards are hazards that exist in all workplaces within all industries. Some people mistakenly believe that if they work in an office or other non-industrial or construction setting that health and safety is less applicable. That is simply not true. Potential workplace hazards include:

  • Slipping, tripping, or falling
  • Working near motorized vehicles, operating vehicles
  • Using or working near machinery
  • Workplace violence
  • Repeating the same movements over and over, especially if you are in an awkward position or use a lot of force

How do I Meet the Training Requirement?

OSG offers a course that satisfies all of the basic legislative training requirements outlined by the Ministry of Labour. Our Supervisor Competency Course is aligned with the Ministry of Labour’s mandatory learning outcomes from their supervisor awareness booklet. Our course takes the extra step by including tips for motivating an active safety culture at work. As well, any time that you take a course with OSG, you get access to our ongoing support and helpline.

Other Supervisor Requirements

In addition to the supervisor awareness requirement, supervisors must also ensure that workers receive other mandatory training requirements like, but not limited to:

These training requirements are in place to ensure the safety of workers and are a foundation for a good training program. OSG trains these courses in a number of delivery methods so that companies can pick the best one that fits their needs and circumstances.

OSG can Help!

If you have questions about legislative requirements for training, how to increase the safety culture within your workplace, or the roles and responsibilities of the supervisor, OSG can help. We have been successfully training supervisors for over 20 years, and we are the largest provider of private health and safety training in Ontario. Learn more about our Supervisor Competency Training course now or call us at 800.815.9980 to speak to one of our health and safety experts. 

Supervisor Competency Training


Written by Jennifer Miller | Curriculum Development Coordinator

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