By now, you probably know that, as of March 1st 2016, new training requirements for JHSC members were put into effect for Ontario workplaces. These changes to the 1996 training standards came about in order to bring greater consistency and quality to these training programs.
The curriculum is becoming more interactive and streamlined, aimed at delivering more thorough education when it comes to safety in the workplace.
These policy updates also encompass legislative updates and more up-to-date fundamentals of learning. If you’re a business with 20 or more employees it’s important to understand the provincial certification for joint health & safety requirements, and how they impact your organization.
Some key takeaways from the new joint health and safety committee policy include:
- If you completed certification training before the new requirements, you’ll be certified for life and won’t be required to complete refresher training (unless you switch industry sectors).
- If you get certified following March 1st of this year, you’ll now have to complete a refresher course every 3 years in order to keep your status. No more certification for life!
- Training consists of two parts with a mandatory instructor: a minimum of 3 days for part 1 and 2 for part two of the training program. The new refresher training takes one day to complete.
- Self-training is a thing of the past! No more e-courses and workbooks – the ministry feels that instructors will provide a higher quality of learning.
- Training and all refresher training has to be completed through a training that’s approved by the Ministry of Labour. That means that business can no longer perform it in-house, unless they get certified though the ministry.
- Chief Prevention Officers will feel the impact of this policy change: they’ll now have new criteria for approving programs for JHSC certification training, as well as training providers for these programs.
While these changes may seem more inconvenient to business owners, proper education can make the workplace a safer place for everyone. It’s important to be aware of and understand the current expectations for JHSC training and information in Ontario, in order to ensure worker safety and prepare for government inspections.