Scheduled for June 24 and 25, Toronto, ON
Strategies and techniques to secure the highest quality training possible for workers and their representatives will be the focus of an upcoming WHSC Conference.
Aptly entitled, Learning and Leading for Life
, the conference will seek to address the growing health and safety training gap in Ontario workplaces. This gap comes in three main forms, training approaches, training content and training evaluation.
Rejecting minimalist approaches
“We know all training is not created equal,” says Dave Killham, Executive Director, Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC). “The idea something is better than nothing is a very dangerous idea. This kind of thinking sells workers short. Deliver the wrong information, or in the wrong way, and the harm many workers face may actually be heightened. This is especially true for vulnerable workers, but in this economy show me a worker who isn’t vulnerable.”
The “something” Killham refers to has come in the form of lectures, videos and online resources. Workers and their representatives have fought against this kind of minimalist approach before. Unfortunately, now it is an approach which is even being enshrined in some health and safety training standards.
Shifting onus where it belongs
To make matters worse, training content in many quarters focuses on worker behaviours, instead of workplace hazards. “This kind of training and the people who develop it, are the same folks who tell workers to ‘work safe’, instead of telling employers to provide ‘safe work’. We have to find ways to finally ensure training and workplace prevention programs place the greatest onus for workplace health and safety on those who have the greatest control over the workplace, namely employers. The drafters of the Occupational Health & Safety Act
understood this much. It’s time everyone does,” says Killham.
Evaluating training properly
Important issues around training evaluation are also increasingly arising, issues such as pass/fail written tests that could see workers deprived of their livelihoods. Of course this approach to evaluation flies in the face of all adult education principles.
All these issues and more will be the subject of discussion at the WHSC conference.
To secure your spot, be sure to register today. Just download, complete and send us the registration form.
Want to share news of the conference with other union leaders, union health and safety activists or union educators please download and share the conference flyer.
Any questions or concerns
, call 1888-869-7950 and ask to speak to a WHSC training services representative. Please keep in mind the complete conference agenda is under development. We will be sharing this in short order.