On Oct. 1, 2015, the Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) of the Ministry of Labour (MOL) announced new standards for Joint Health Safety Committee (JHSC) member certification and new requirements for organizations that provide JHSC certification training programs. The new standards replace the 1996 Certification Standards (1996 Standards) and become effective March 1, 2016.
New Training Program Standard Requirements
Under the new standards, JHSC members seeking to become certified after March1, 2016, must complete new, more comprehensive training courses. These training courses are separated into three segments: Part 1, Part 2 and refresher training. All three segments of this training must be part of a CPO-approved JHSC program and must be delivered by a CPO-approved JHSC certification training provider.
JHSC members certified under the 1996 Standards before March1, 2016, are not required to complete additional training under the new standards, nor are they required to complete refresher training to maintain their certification.
Starting March 1, 2016, JHSC members who have completed only Part 1 of the certification training under the 1996 Standards will be required to complete Part 2 under the new standards. Additionally, these individuals will need to take refresher training periodically to maintain their certification.
Format of JHSC Training Under New Training Program Standard
Part 1 training involves generic health and safety training that is applicable to all workplaces where a JHSC is required. Part 1 training must consist of at least three days (19.5 hours) of face-to-face instruction, of which, 6.5 hours can be delivered via eLearning. It includes information on the following:
- Occupational health and safety laws and regulations;
- Rights, duties and responsibilities of workplace parties;
- Hazard recognition, assessment, and control and evaluation of hazard controls;
- The role and responsibilities of JHSCs;
- Duties and responsibilities of JHSC members and certified members; and
- Health and safety resources.
Part 2 training focuses on the concepts of hazard recognition, assessment and control of hazards, and evaluation of hazard controls, often referred to as the RACE methodology. This training must also focus on a minimum of six hazards that are relevant to the JHSC member’s workplace. The minimum duration of Part 2 training is two days (13 hours) of face-to-face instruction.
Part 2 training must be completed within six months of completing Part 1 training, subject to a one-time extension granted at the CPO’s discretion.
Refresher training must be completed once every three years by anyone who is JHSC certified under the new standards. This training must entail a minimum of one day (6.5 hours) of face-to-face instruction and include the following:
- A review of key concepts from Part 1 and Part 2 training;
- Information on relevant updates to legislation, standards, codes of practice, and occupational health and safety best practices; and
- The opportunity for certified members to share and discuss best practices and challenges related to workplace health and safety.
Certified JHSC members may request a one-time exemption from refresher training. Exemptions, if approved, would extend the required period for refresher training an additional three years.
New Training Provider Standard
The new standards also set out criteria that training providers must meet in order to deliver a CPO-approved JHSC certification training program. To deliver JHSC Certification Training as of March 1, 2016, all training providers, including existing training providers and potential providers, must apply to the MOL for CPO approval.
Training providers previously approved by the CPO may continue to provide JHSC training under the 1996 Standards until Feb. 29, 2016, but they are required to re-apply for CPO approval and provide certification training after that date.
It should be noted that employers can apply to become approved JHSC certification training providers. Once approved by the CPO, employers can then provide JHSC certification training to their employees.
A list of all CPO-approved JHSC certification training providers will be posted on the MOL website as they are approved.
For additional information on JHSCs or the recent changes made to the certification standards, organizations may visit the MOL’s JHSC website.
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