As a workplace health and safety representative, workers trust you to raise their health and safety concerns. Through you, workers can participate more fully in resolving issues that affect their health and safety on the job.
Ontario law requires
- a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) in most workplaces with 20 or more regular employees
- a worker health and safety representative for workplaces with 6 to 19 employees.
Employers must provide training to representatives participating on joint health and safety committees. Your employer must ensure one JHSC member representing workers and one representing management completes a three-step Certification Training program. When it comes to training of worker representatives in smaller workplaces the law has not progressed to recognize the need for highly qualified worker reps as well. An unfortunate situation given the law requires worker health and safety representatives functioning in workplaces much like JHSC members. This said, employer-provided training for this group is a good practice.
Nonetheless, recognizing the need to build health and safety capacity in small workplaces, the government is helping eligible employers recover registration fees and lost-time wages (to a maximum of $350, $50 for registration and $300 for wages) associated with HSR training through a limited time reimbursement program. Take advantage of this training and register for WHSC Worker Health and Safety Representative – Smaller Workplaces training.
Proper training can help workplace health and safety representatives fulfil their considerable legal powers. These powers or functions include the right to:
- inspect the workplace and identify hazards;
- recommend improvements for worker health and safety including:
- training of workplace parties
- workplace policies and procedures;
- obtain information from the employer on:
- identification of potential or existing hazards of materials, processes and equipment;
- health and safety experiences, work practices, and standards in similar or other industries of which the employer has knowledge;
- information on tests of equipment, machine, device, article, any biological, chemical or physical agent in or about the workplace;
- investigate fatalities or critical injuries.
Additionally, JHSC members have the right to be consulted on hygiene monitoring approaches and have a worker rep present at the beginning of any testing.
WHSC can help
The Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) is designated by the government as Ontario's health and safety training centre. We are Ontario's premier provider of occupational health and safety training for joint health and safety committees, smaller workplace health and safety representatives, workers and supervisors.
WHSC training can help workplaces of all sizes and sectors to
- comply with all legal training requirements
- meet and exceed JHSC Certification training standards
- train smaller workplace H&S reps
- plan and implement effective workplace prevention programs.
Want to learn more?
Check out our "Training" section. Be sure to visit also our "Frequently Asked Questions" section. And don't forget to subscribe to WHSC E-news.
Don't see what you need, drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1.888.869.7950 and ask to speak to a WHSC training services representative.