Certification Part II – compliance date set
“In a world of deadlines let us offer you a lifeline.”
This is the central message of the winter/spring 2001 issue of Training Works
, a Workers Health and Safety Centre publication dedicated to communicating Workers Centre training programs and the many ways workplaces benefit from this training.
Given the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) announcement of a December 31, 2001 compliance deadline for the second part of Certification training, also known as workplace hazard-specific training, the Workers Centre offer is a timely one.
In his letter to joint health and safety committee (JHSC) co-chairs, the targeted readers for Training Works
, Clarence MacPherson, executive director for the Centre wrote, “We know Certification Part Two will be no small undertaking, but those of us at the Workers Health and Safety Centre are prepared to lend our support.”
Since 1993, when Certification training was first introduced, some 70,000 JHSC members have completed Part One, also known as Core or Basic Certification training. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act
gives the WSIB the authority to set Certification training program standards. While there have been some changes to the standard, Ontario law still requires provincially regulated workplaces employing 20 or more workers to provide Certification training to at least one worker member and one management member of the JHSC. To complete Part Two of the training the employer in consultation with the JHSC must conduct a workplace hazard assessment and then train the certified representatives to recognize, assess and control, or better yet, eliminate all significant hazards.
Two letters from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board — one addressed to Certification participants, the other to employers —were sent out in mid January.
In their letter to participants the WSIB advises, “Your first step toward completing Certification Part Two is to talk to your employer about it.” They further explain that the card certified representatives received after completing Certification Part One will become invalid as of December 31, 2001. “You do NOT have to re-take the first part of certification training, but you must complete Certification Part Two to get a new, valid card.”
The letter to employers provides similar advice.
Also sent out in January to representatives in some 28,000 workplaces, Training Works
again detailed the Workers Centre community-based training schedules. Included in the schedules are the more than 60 hazard-specific training modules. This training is designed to accommodate a variety of workplaces. But the Workers Centre is also equipped to context its hazard-specific curriculum for in-house, workplace-specific training. Many workplaces have contracted the Centre to provide these value-added services.
Working with the Workers Centre, representatives in several workplaces have got out ahead of the deadline. These workplaces include Lear Corporation Kitchener, Bayer Inc. Rubber Division, BBA Nonwovens Canada Limited, Woods Industries, General Motors of Canada, Ontario Power Generation, the Town of LaSalle, and the Municipality of Mississauga, to name a few. More recently health care organizations like Huronia Regional Centre, Hamilton’s St. Joseph’s Hospital and Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene have also signed on for extensive Certification training.
Ready to deliver this training are Workers Centre-qualified instructors drawn from all sectors of the economy. Workers Centre-qualified instructors Bob Cullens, member of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 895 and Monika Suthers of CUPE Local 543, participated in one of the Centre’s recent hazard-specific instructor up-grade programs. “These programs are definitely street ready. I am very confident and prepared to begin delivery,” says Cullens. Suthers agrees, “Basic Certification provided us with a mass of information. These hazard-specific modules provide knowledge and a necessary focus participants can take back to their workplaces and attempt to initiate positive change.”
Clarence MacPherson is just as confident. As he told readers of Training Works
, “The next year will certainly be a challenging time. But given the nature of our task it will be nothing short of exciting. We know that training works. We know that Certification Part One works. In this province we had two independent studies that told us this much.
“I look forward to the outcome of Part Two. Workplace conditions can only get better. And when they do, we all win. Improve workplace environments and community environments also improve. Improve worker health, and we improve the health of friends, family and fellow citizens,” concludes MacPherson.
This spring Workers Centre training service representatives will be meeting with workplace representatives throughout the province to discuss their hazard-specific Certification training needs. The WSIB and Workers Centre will also provide regular written updates. Look for these communications in the special Certification training section of the Workers Centre website: www.whsc.on.ca
. Meantime, if you have any questions be sure and contact a Workers Centre representative near you.
Training service representatives can also provide you with additional copies of the latest Training Works
publication. Or if you prefer an electronic version, one is available on the Workers Centre website as well.