Worker health and safety awareness in four steps
Workers 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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Worker Health and Safety Awareness Training in Four Steps is a training program developed by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. It is focused on the health and safety rights and responsibilities of workers, supervisors and employers and is a general introduction to workplace health and safety.
This program meets the requirements for basic occupational health and safety awareness training described in O. Reg. 297/13. Employers may choose to use another program but should make sure it meets the requirements in the regulation.
Employers must keep a record that workers have completed the training.
This training program may be delivered either:
- face-to-face with one worker or a group of workers using the workbook
- electronically through an eLearning module
By the end of this health and safety awareness program, workers should be able to do the following:
Step 1: Get on board
- Describe why they are important to workplace health and safety and where they fit in the internal responsibility system by describing their roles, responsibilities and how these relate to the roles and responsibilities of supervisors and employers.
Step 2: Get in the know – the right to know
- Explain that they have the right to know about workplace hazards and how to work safely, using the most common hazards, the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) and occupational disease as examples.
- Find information on how to work safely by talking to their employer or supervisor and by being informed about the workplace health and safety policy and procedures.
Step 3: Get involved – the right to participate
- Give examples of ways that they can participate in health and safety in their workplace, such as being a role model to their co-workers, becoming a health and safety representative or a joint health and safety committee member, and participating in training.
- Find out who their health and safety representative or joint health and safety committee members are by seeing the information posted in their workplace or by asking their supervisor or employer.
- Talk to co-workers about safe practices in the workplace.
Step 4: Get more help – the right to refuse unsafe work and where to go for help
- Explain that they can ask or go to see their supervisor or employer, health and safety representative or joint health and safety committee member when they need help with health and safety.
- Understand that if they believe their health and safety is at risk, they can refuse unsafe work.
- Explain that their employer cannot threaten, fire or dismiss them for exercising their health and safety rights or for asking their employer or supervisor to do what the Occupational Health and Safety Act says they must do.
- Name other places that they can go to get more information or help regarding workplace health and safety, including:
- the health and safety associations
- the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development
- the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
How to deliver the training
Employers should deliver training to new workers within the first few days of starting work, before workers are exposed to hazards in the workplace.
Both eLearning and face-to-face learning may be supplemented with:
- discussions with supervisors or employers
- reviews of quiz questions
- safety talks in the workplace
Make sure to do the following before delivering the training to workers:
- Review the learning objectives.
- Be familiar with the contents of the training program and be prepared to support your workers. If using the workbook, plan for the activities.
- Be ready for and encourage questions. Focus on making sure that your workers are comfortable pointing out health and safety concerns right from the first day on the job.
- Keep in mind any disabilities, language or literacy issues workers may have and how to accommodate them. For example, you may need to translate the material to another language or have a translator there to assist you. Some may need the material to be read aloud or to hear it repeated or phrased in a different way.
Make sure you have information available on the following topics available, as they will come up in the training:
- copy of your health and safety policy (if your business has six or more workers)
- copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and applicable regulations
- copy of the poster Health and Safety at Work - Prevention Starts Here
- names of health and safety representatives if you have between 6 and 19 workers
- names of joint health and safety committee members if you have 20 or more workers
- hazards in your workplace
- procedure for workers to follow when telling you about health and safety concerns
- workplace violence and workplace harassment policies
- 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 aid providers
The workbook must be printed, completed and signed to serve as a record of training. The Ministry of Labour, Immigration, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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, Immigration, 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 your workers have received the information in this program. Each worker should have their own workbook (or print-outs from the eLearning program) to keep as a reference for the future.
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.
This training program raises general awareness about rights, responsibilities and where to get more information and help with workplace health and safety. Be sure to orient your workers to your specific workplace, the hazards they may encounter when they are doing their job, and the health and safety laws and workplace procedures put in place to protect them.
If you have any questions about this training program contact the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, 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: