Supervisor awareness training program
Employers must ensure supervisors complete an awareness training program for supervisors within one week of beginning work as a supervisor. [O. Reg. 297/13, Subsection 2(1)]
The basic awareness training program for supervisors must include instruction on the:
- duties and rights of workers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)
- duties of employers and supervisors under OHSA
- roles of Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSCs) and health and safety representatives under OHSA
- roles of the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and entities under OHSA Section 22.5
- how to recognize, assess and control workplace hazards, and evaluate those controls
- sources of information on occupational health and safety [O. Reg. 297/13, Subsection 2(3)]
A supervisor is exempt from taking a supervisor awareness training program if he or she:
- took a previous awareness training program for supervisors that covers the required content
- provides the employer with proof of completion of that training and
- the employer verifies the previous training covered the required content set out in the regulation. [O. Reg. 297/13, Subsection 2(2)]
This exemption may continue to apply to future employers of the supervisor if the above conditions are met. [O. Reg. 297/13, Subsection 3(2)]. For more information on how employers can verify the content of previous training, see General Questions and Answers of this guide.
The employer does not have to ensure a supervisor completes a worker awareness training program if the:
- supervisor was working for the employer as a supervisor prior to July 1, 2014 and
- the employer verifies the supervisor completed an awareness training program for supervisors that meets the requirements of subsection 2(3) prior to July 1, 2014 [O. Reg. 297/13, Subsection 3(1)]
Does someone who is working as a supervisor on a temporary or infrequent basis have to complete this training program? What about an owner of a small business who also directly supervises worker?
Unless an exemption applies, an awareness training program for supervisors must be completed within the time specified in the regulation by anyone who meets the definition of supervisor in the OHSA. This includes someone who works as a supervisor temporarily or infrequently (for example, when the manager or owner is away from the workplace), and owners who also supervise workers.
What are “sources of information on occupational health and safety”?
Sources of information may be found within or outside of a workplace. There are sources of information on occupational health and safety that are external to a workplace (such as from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, health and safety system partners, etc.). See Additional Resources of this guide for more information.
There are other sources of information on occupational health and safety in a workplace, including:
- occupational health and safety policies, programs and procedures
- Material Safety Data Sheets
- operating and maintenance manuals for equipment
- recommendations from the joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative
- inspection and incident reports
- other supervisors, if any
In addition, information may be obtained as a result of other occupational health and safety training required under the OHSA, including certification training for JHSC members.
Do supervisors also have to complete the worker awareness training program?
A “supervisor” under the OHSA is also a “worker” as defined by the statute.
The regulation contains a limited exemption for supervisors who completed an awareness training program for supervisors before July 1, 2014 (see Exemptions above). In such a case, a supervisor would not have to complete an awareness training program for workers.
However, any supervisor not captured by this limited exemption will have to complete a program(s) that covers the content requirements of both the worker and supervisor basic occupational health and safety awareness training programs.