Toronto, ON – The Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) is looking to take away the employer requirement to supply three days of classroom training to become a Certified Joint Health and Safety Committee representative. The Ministry wants to replace it with a one day online course.
“Our biggest fear is that some employers will abuse this change to provide workers with the cheapest option available and therefore the least amount of education on vital Health and Safety issues that keep their fellow brothers and sisters safe,” explained IAM Grand Lodge Special Representative Derek Ferguson.
Ferguson and Ontario Provincial Council of Machinists Health and Safety Coordinator Rick Samson met with Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) Ron Kelusky and Gary Rygus, MOL Director of Policy to discuss the issue. “We believe this will have a negative impact on our new safety representative’s ability to do their jobs properly,” said Ferguson. “Online instruction is not an appropriate substitute for classroom training and is no more than passive unguided reading of documents, said the Federal Occupational Health and Safety Tribunal in deciding a case involving working training,” explained Ferguson. “We must push back on the Ontario government’s plan to water down our certified member’s education.”
The Chief Prevention Officer said that any changes to the training requirements will be brought forward for consultation with Labour prior to being implemented into law.