Note: This document does not constitute legal advice. To determine your rights and obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA or the Act) and its regulations, please contact your legal counsel or refer to the legislation.
Supervisor Health and Safety Awareness in 5 Steps explains the responsibilities of supervisors and describes what Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) expects from them, their employers and the workers they supervise. The OHSA defines a supervisor as anyone who "has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker,” whether it be a permanent or temporary assignment. This awareness training program is for anyone who supervises and/or provides direction to workers.
Everyone in the workplace, from the employer to the newest worker, has different but important duties to keep the workplace safe. Because employers have the most authority in the workplace, they have the greatest responsibility for health and safety. Supervisors are next in line. Since supervisors’ jobs involve taking direction from the employer and giving direction to the people they supervise, it’s important that they understand the health and safety responsibilities of everyone in the workplace.
If you already provide your supervisors with health and safety training or information that includes this awareness training, you may not need to deliver this.
The focus here is on general awareness of rights and responsibilities and does not, in any way, replace the Act or its regulations or any other training that may be required for supervisors.
At the end of this health and safety awareness training, supervisors should be able to:
Supervisor Health and Safety Awareness in 5 Steps should be completed within the first few days of being a supervisor and may be delivered in different ways:
Both e-learning and face-to-face learning may be supplemented with discussions with the employer, a review of quiz questions and safety talks in the workplace. Training program materials can be provided at no cost through the Ministry of Labour.
Here are some steps that you or the person who will deliver this training program in your workplace should consider:
To help make sure that your supervisors understand the material, there are quiz questions at the end of each of the program’s five steps. In face-to-face learning you can ask supervisors to write down their answers or tell you what they think the correct response is. Discuss the answers that your supervisors give to help strengthen their understanding. The correct answers to each quiz appear at the back of the supervisor workbook. The quiz questions are the same in the e-learning program. You may review these with your supervisors to reinforce the information.
Please Note: Pay close attention to Exercise 4 under Step 3, which asks the supervisor to think of the steps they should take when a worker is injured. This is designed to allow the supervisor to share their own knowledge of the steps they should take. In some cases the supervisor may have limited knowledge about the steps they should take. This exercise is designed to encourage discussion and provide a learning opportunity for the supervisor. It is recommended that the employer be very clear on the steps that should be taken so they can take this opportunity to coach their supervisors.
It is your responsibility to keep records that show all of your supervisors have received this training. Each supervisor should have his or her own workbook (or print-outs from the e-learning program) as a reference for the future. As an employer, you must ensure your supervisors are competent under the OHSA. This involves ongoing training and support to keep up with changes in the legislation and in the workplace.
If you have any questions about this program, contact the Ministry of Labour at 1-877-202-0008 or visit Health and Safety.
For general information about workplace health and safety, contact your Health and Safety Association.
ISBN: 978-1-4606-0644-5 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-4606-0645-2 (HTML)