Supervisor health and safety awareness in five steps
Supervisors can take this training program to meet the requirement for basic occupational health and safety awareness training under Ontario Regulation 297/13.
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Supervisor Basic Occupational Health and Safety Awareness in Five Steps is a training program developed by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. It focuses on a general understanding of rights and responsibilities and a basic introduction to workplace health and safety.
This program meets the requirements for basic occupational health and safety awareness training under Ontario Regulation 297/13 and is available free for your convenience.
Employers may choose to use another program but should make sure it meets the requirements in the regulation. Supervisors are also required to complete worker basic occupational health and safety awareness training.
In addition to this training, employers have a duty to make sure supervisors are competent and informed about hazards in the work that they supervise. Supervisors may need further training to fulfil this requirement.
Employers must keep a record that supervisors have completed the training.
This training program may be delivered either:
- face-to-face with one supervisor or a group of supervisors using the workbook
- electronically through an eLearning module
By the end of this health and safety awareness program, supervisors should be able to do the following:
Step 1: Make a difference
- Describe why they are needed and where they fit in the internal responsibility system by describing the health and safety roles and responsibilities of the employer, supervisor and worker.
Step 2: Lead the way
- Identify the three core rights of workers.
- Know that they are required to support the three core rights of workers.
Step 3: Know the supervisor's toolkit
- Know that they should incorporate the recognition, assessment, control and evaluation of hazards when they are planning and organizing work.
- Understand that they must tell workers about potential or actual hazards and need to show them how to work safely.
- Understand they should look for hazards, act as directed by the employer to control them, and listen to and respond to worker concerns.
- Know they must take steps to make sure workers follow the rules and wear and use protective equipment.
- Understand they and the employer are responsible for handling health and safety hazards / concerns as they arise.
- Know if they don’t have the authority or ability to address a health and safety concern, they should seek help from their employer.
- Know what they should do if something goes wrong.
- Know there could be legal consequences as well as a weakening of the internal responsibility system if they don’t fulfill their legal obligations.
Step 4: Know you are not alone
- Describe sources of information, such as:
- employer policies
- joint health and safety committee (JHSC) minutes
- JHSC members
- health and safety representatives
- inspections and investigations
- the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations
- Explain the role of:
- the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)
- the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD)
- the health and safety associations (HSAs)
- the availability of resources
- Ask their employer for training so that they have the knowledge, skills and abilities to plan, organize and supervise work.
Step 5: Be a role model
- Describe why they need to set a good example and how this influences others.
How to deliver the training
Employers should deliver training to new supervisors within the first few days of being a supervisor. They can deliver the training in different ways:
- face to face with one supervisor or a group of supervisors using the workbook
- electronically, through an eLearning program
Both eLearning and face-to-face learning may be supplemented with:
- discussions with the employer
- a review of quiz questions
- safety talks in the workplace
Before delivering the training to supervisors:
- Read through the workbook and plan for the activities for face-to-face learning.
- Consult the learning objectives. It is important to understand the key messages of this awareness program. Familiarize yourself with the program and be prepared to support your supervisors.
- Encourage questions and ensure your supervisors are comfortable responding to health and safety concerns right from the start.
Ensure you have information available on the following topics, as they are covered in the program and may come up in your discussions with supervisors:
- a copy of the workplace health and safety policy (if six or more workers)
- a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and applicable regulations
- a copy of the poster Health and Safety at Work - Prevention Starts Here
- the names of health & safety representatives if you have between 6 and 19 workers
- the names of JHSC members (generally if you have 20 or more workers)
- JHSC recommendations and workplace inspection reports
- hazards in your workplace and safe operating procedures
- procedure for workers to follow when reporting health and safety concerns and for supervisors to follow when responding to worker’s concerns
- incident investigation reports
- workplace violence and harassment policies and procedures
- Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) training and safety data sheets (SDS)
- protective equipment that must be worn or used by workers
- emergency procedures
- location of first aid stations and names of qualified first aiders
- further training to be a "competent" supervisor as defined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act
The workbook must be printed, completed and signed to serve as a record of training. The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development does not issue or require certificates for users of the workbook.
- read the workbook online
- download the PDF in:
- Request PDF copies of the workbook in other languages by emailing email@example.com
The module takes 45–60 minutes to complete and must be completed in one sitting.
At the end of the module, you will receive a "Proof of Completion" certificate. Save or print the certificate before exiting the module.
Make sure you’re using one of these browsers:
- Microsoft Edge (version 95 or higher)
- Google Chrome (version 66 or higher)
- Safari (version 11 or higher)
We do not recommend using any version of Internet Explorer, as it is no longer supported. If using Windows 7 as the operating system, we recommend using Google Chrome 66 or higher
You will need to deactivate pop-up blockers before completing the module. We also recommend clearing your internet browser’s cache before beginning the module. If your internet connection is lost while you are completing the program, you may need to redo the module to receive your certificate. We don’t recommend using a mobile device.
The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development will not store your certificate, or keep a record of training. Please keep a copy for your records.
After the training
You should keep records that show all of your supervisors have received this training. Each supervisor should have their own workbook (or printouts from the eLearning program) as a reference for the future.
As an employer, you must ensure your supervisors are competent under the OHSA. This involves ongoing training and support to keep up with changes in the legislation and in the workplace.
If you wish, you may use our record-keeping template.
Learn more about record-keeping requirements related to basic occupational health and safety awareness training.
If you have any questions about this training program contact the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development at
Meeting the training requirement with another program
If you choose to use another program to deliver the basic occupational health and safety awareness training required under O. Reg. 297/13, consult our guide to the regulation for details on those requirements.
You may wish to use these tools to assess the program: