Ontario workplaces need to meet certain training requirements to comply with federal and provincial regulations. Though every organization’s training needs are unique, providing training to every worker on these four topics is mandatory for almost every workplace in Ontario:
1. Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
2. Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
3. Worker/Supervisor Health and Safety Awareness
4. Workplace Violence and Harassment
Most workplaces will also need to provide job-specific training to keep their workers safe. Meeting training requirements can help your organization prevent discrimination, injuries, and harassment. Staying compliant with training requirements also helps protect your organization from fines and lawsuits.
Here’s an overview of key training requirements in Ontario and why they’re mandatory.
1.9 million people in Ontario have a disability and that number is growing. In 2005, the Ontario government passed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). This legislation made AODA training mandatory for all employers and workers in Ontario. The aim of the training is to give workers the knowledge to confidently interact with people with disabilities.
WHMIS stands for Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. The system is designed to provide information on how to safely use, handle, and store hazardous materials. WHMIS training has been mandatory for Canadian workplaces since 1988. In 2018, it became mandatory to train on the new system of labeling called the Globally Harmonized System (GHS). WHMIS training is mandatory for all Canadian workers who work with or are exposed to hazardous substances.
Worker or Supervisor Health and Safety Awareness
Basic occupational health and safety awareness training is required for all workers and supervisors in Ontario covered by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (the Act). The training is meant to raise general awareness about rights and responsibilities. There are two different courses: one meant for workers and one meant for supervisors. The supervisor’s course outlines some of the additional health and safety responsibilities of the supervisor.
In addition to basic awareness training for every worker, provincially-regulated businesses with more than 20 employees are required to have a Joint Health and Safety Committee. The committee needs to have at least one worker and one manager who is certified. They can become certified by successfully completing Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) Certification Training. JHSC Certification Training is more in-depth than the basic awareness course.
Workplace Violence and Harassment
Workplace violence and harassment is more common than many would like to believe. A 2017 survey of Canadians revealed that 60% of respondents had experienced harassment in the past two years. In Ontario, the Occupational Health and Safety Act (the Act) states that it’s the employer’s responsibility to develop and enforce a workplace violence and harassment policy. Employers also need to provide training to workers on the contents of the policy. Supervisors will need additional training. They need to be trained on how to follow up on incidents and complaints. Employers or supervisors may be held liable under Ontario’s human rights system if harassment occurs in the workplace. They may also be liable for failing to take proper steps to prevent harassment, such as providing training.
Other Training Requirements
Your workplace may have additional training requirements depending on the nature of work.
Many employers will need to provide workplace-specific training. For example, workers in the construction industry may need to be trained on Working at Heights Construction. You may also wish to go above and beyond what’s legally required. For example, you may provide ergonomics training to help prevent overuse injuries.
First Aid Training
Employers covered by the Workplace Safety & Insurance Act must have at least one employee on-site at all times that has a valid first aid certification.
Keep Training Records
Providing training is a key step in protecting your workers and your organization. In the event of an incident, you will need to provide proof that you took measures to prevent hazards, discrimination, and harassment. Use an online learning management system to provide and document your training. This allows you to meet, and prove that you meet, the mandatory training requirements.
How to Meet Training Requirements
Our Online Health and Safety Management System comes pre-loaded with over 100 courses, including all of Ontario’s mandatory workplace training. You can easily assign training to employees, track their progress, and print training records. Start a free trial today. If you aren’t sure if you need to provide additional training, contact us. We can help you understand what training you’re required to provide.