Workers Health & Safety Centre

Basic Certification, Version 7.0 to be released March 21st

Basic Certification, Version 7.0 to be released March 21st
WHSC last made significant changes to this legally mandated training program for certified members of joint health safety committees with the release of version 5.0 in March, 2009. Since then there have been two subsequent versions, version 5.1 in April, 2009 and version 6.0 in June, 2010. The soon-to-be-released Basic Certification Version 7.0 dramatically improves on the structure and content established in previous versions. Details of these changes are described below.
  • The session plan for the introductory module was edited to improve the flow and to provide a more functional opening for the course. To achieve this, the section addressing the action and learning objectives for the program has been delayed until after a discussion of the meaning of these terms. In addition, a change made to the hazard segment is intended to help participants understand the difference between hazards, exposures/contacts or incidents, and health effects (injuries and illnesses). As these terms are used throughout the program it is hoped that clarifying them early on will assist with their understanding when used in various contexts.
  • In module 3, Understanding the Law, overhead 3.6, designed to help participants learn how to read and understand the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), has undergone a minor change. To provide an example of sections, sub-sections, clauses and other references outlined in OHSA the new overhead shows an image of 9(18)(d)(ii) of the Act. The previous version used 9(18)(d)(i), however the change became necessary as some participants mistakenly thought  the “i” represented the ninth letter of the alphabet rather than number one in Roman Numerals.
  • Changes to module 4, Employer Responsibility, include the following:
    1. A correction has been made to the discussion of administrative duties. Previously the content incorrectly stated the employer must provide a fatality report to the joint health and safety committee (JHSC) and union within 48 hours. This now corresponds with the information on overhead 4.12 which correctly states that if there is a fatality or critical injury the JHSC and union must be informed immediately.
    2. Discussion of due diligence has been rewritten to emphasize due diligence is a legal defence used in a court and not a health and safety program. The graphic presentation of the due diligence checklist in the participant manual was also upgraded.
    3. A new explanation of the Criminal Code of Canada helps instructors provide a consistent explanation of how criminal charges differ from charges under strict liability legislation such as OHSA.
    4. Overhead 4.16 was edited to include the length of possible prison terms for charges under the Criminal Code. A new overhead 4.17 was added to show how organizations can become party to an offence committed by a supervisor or supervisors.
  • The Right to Refuse role play exercise in module 5, Worker Participation, was edited in order to improve its flow. Similarly, a new and clearer Right to Refuse flow chart was added to the Participant’s Manual as Resource Sheet 2.
  • In module 8, The Certified Member, new resource sheets and overheads were added to depict bilateral and unilateral work stoppages.
  • Module 10, Health and Safety Program, has been simplified. The previous version contained six learning objectives delivered in three sessions in one hour and 15 minutes. The new version has two learning objectives to be met through one session. As well, the flow of the session plan has been changed to more fully differentiate the health and safety policy statement from the health and safety program, explaining how the program works to fulfill the policy. In addition, the answers to question two in Worksheet 1 have been changed to allow participants to come to an understanding that hazard assessment includes the characteristics of hazards, existing control measures versus effective or optimal control measures and related health effects.
  • Considerable improvements have been made to module 11, Hazard Identification.
    1. The first section of the background material has been adjusted to clarify suggested steps for workplaces looking to set up their health and safety program.
    2. Additional case studies have been added for use with Worksheet 2, thus providing instructors with more choices for assignment to the buzz groups.
    3. The issue of setting assessment priorities has been removed from module 11 and added to the end of module 12.
  • Module 13, Prevention Resources of the previous program has been removed and all subsequent modules renumbered. However, much of the discussion of external sources of information and research bias has been retained only moved to Module 12.
  • New case studies were also added to Module 12, Hazard Assessment, and the Hazard Control module (formerly module 14, now module 13).
  • Module 13, Hazard Control, learning objectives were rewritten for clarity and brevity. To ensure completion of the Training Needs Identification Tool additional time for this task was also allotted. The tool itself was also revised for improved graphic appearance.
  • In module 15, Workplace Investigation (formerly module 16) the Disease Investigation Form (Resource Sheet 2) has been graphically improved and slightly changed in content.
  • Finally, it is worth noting as with other programs undergoing revision, ‘overheads’ in the Instructor’s Manual are printed four per page, instead of full pages for each overhead. This paper saving alteration also reflects the move from acetates to PowerPoint presentations.