The JHSC is a key component of a company’s OHS program and critical to its compliance with the OHS laws. As a result, Canadian jurisdictions generally require or recommend that some or all of the JHSC’s members get training. For example, Ontario’s OHS law requires one worker and one management member of a JHSC to be certified by taking a training course that meets the designated standard. Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer just released new training standards and requirements for JHSC certification. Here’s a look at these changes.
THE STANDARDS & REQUIREMENTS
Key Dates: The CPO released the new standards and requirements on Oct. 1, 2015. But they don’t take effect until March 1, 2016.
New Training Program Standard: The CPO released a new standard for the JHSC Certification Training Program itself. This Program has three components:
Part One training. This training is generic and applies to all workplaces where a JHSC is required. Part One training is a minimum of three days and part of it may be delivered via eLearning for up to 6.5 hours. Topics include:
- OHS law;
- Rights, duties and responsibilities of the workplace parties;
- Hazard recognition, assessment and control, and evaluation of hazard controls;
- Duties and responsibilities of JHSC members and certified members; and
- Health and safety resources.
Part Two training. Part Two training, which is at least two days, focuses on:
- The concepts of hazard recognition, assessment and control, and evaluation of hazard controls; and
- Application of these concepts to a minimum of six hazards relevant to the specific workplace. The employer, in consultation with the JHSC, should conduct a workplace hazard assessment to select the most relevant Part Two training for JHSC members to become certified.
Refresher training. Under the current standards, JHSC certification doesn’t expire and employers are merely encouraged to provide additional training to the JHSCs as appropriate. But the new standards require certified JHSC members to get one-day refresher training, which includes:
- Review of key concepts from Part One and Part Two training;
- Relevant updates to legislation, standards, codes of practice and OHS best practices; and
- An opportunity for certified members to share and discuss best practices and challenges.
New Training Provider Standard: The CPO also released a new standard for the providers of JHSC certification training. Employers may either apply to become an approved training provider themselves or have their JHSC members trained by an approved training provider delivering an approved training program. The training provider standard includes requirements for both the training providers who employ instructors and the instructors who’ll actually provide that training for JHSC members.
Training providers approved under the 1996 standard may continue to provide JHSC training under the 1996 standard until Feb. 29, 2016. To deliver compliant JHSC Certification Training as of March 1, 2016, training providers—including existing approved providers and potential providers—must apply to the MOL for approval under the new standards starting Oct. 1, 2015. A list of all CPO-approved JHSC certification training providers will be posted to the MOL website in winter 2016 as they’re approved.
New Requirements: Under the new training and other requirements, to become certified, JHSC members must complete both Part One and Part Two of an approved JHSC certification training program delivered by an approved JHSC certification training provider. They must also take a refresher training program every three years to maintain their certification. Members certified under the 1996 standards continue to be certified and won’t be subject to additional requirements to maintain their certifications, including refresher training. But as of March 1, 2016, JHSC members who have completed only Part One under the 1996 Standard will have to complete Part Two under the new standards to be certified and take refresher training every three years to maintain their certification.
Obviously, the new JHSC training standards and requirements only apply to Ontario workplaces. But employers in jurisdictions that don’t require JHSC members to be trained might consider the Ontario’s training requirements if they decide to train their JHSC members anyway. For example, training based on Ontario’s new training program requirements that covers general OHS requirements and issues, and hazards specific to your particular workplace will enable JHSC members to meet their duties under the OHS laws and protect their co-workers on the job.