Workers Health & Safety Centre

Revising the WHSC Supervisors’ Training Program

Revising the WHSC Supervisors’ Training Program
Supervisors play a critical role in the workplace because they have the authority to oversee the work of others. As such, supervisors have considerable responsibilities under Ontario's Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA). The Act also obligates employers to appoint competent persons as supervisors. A supervisor is deemed competent if they are: qualified by knowledge, training and experience in the work they oversee; familiar with the OHSA and Regulations that apply to their workplace; and most importantly, knowledgeable about actual or potential workplace hazards, so they can in turn advise workers about these hazards.
To help workplaces understand and fulfill their significant supervisory responsibilities the WHSC has developed a one day training program. The program was developed in the fall of 2009 and is designed to help supervisors better understand their role in maintaining healthy and safe workplaces. Detailed attention is paid to supervisors' role in addressing work refusals, and working with joint health and safety committees and representatives on inspections, investigations and during Ministry of Labour inspections.
Originally launched two years ago, this training program is undergoing its first revision. Look for the following changes to version 2.0 this spring:
  • Additions to the detailed session plan and participant manual to clarify the segment addressing reading and understanding health and safety legislation and using the Act’s index;
  • Modifications to  worksheet #1.1 to provide key words for locating sections in the index of the Act enabling instructors to assist participants when needed;
  • Reorganization of resource sheets 1.1, 1.3 and 2.3 by grouping topics addressing subjects such as duties, rights and functions under like headings. The resource sheets will then be more of an easy reference tool that can be searched by health and safety topic;
  • Revisions to the participant manual section on the Criminal Code to increase clarity;
  • Revisions to the detailed session plan segment addressing Designated Substances Regulations to improve the flow and to reorganize content bullets;
  • Revisions to the participant manual section addressing Designated Substances Regulations;
  • Replacement of the right to refuse and the work stoppage charts with new standard charts;
  • General edits to the participant manual for tone, spelling and clarity.