Bill 160 passes first reading in Ontario

Following the recommendations of the Expert Advisory Panel on Occupational Health & Safety published in December 2010 Bill 160 (the Dean Report), Occupational Health and Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2011 is expected to pass into law later this year.

This law will change the rules regarding how those responsible for Health & Safety in Ontario are trained:

– Enterprises with 20 employees or more are already required to have two employees trained, one representing the workers the other the employer. A newer, more extensive training program is proposed.

– Employers with 6-19 employees must appoint a Health & Safety Representative and under Bill 160 will also require formal training.

– This training can only be conducted by an ‘Approved Provider’. Although there is no information on how this approval is to be obtained, OSG has been an approved provider under the existing regulations for 10 years. Over 16,000 of our trainees have passed the test set and adjudicated by the WSIB and become members of their employers Joint Health & Safety Committee.

Our take on all this?

A transition period is defined in Bill 160 whereby those trained before the revised Act comes into force will be deemed certified under this section – in other words grandfathered. This change to the Act will generate huge demands on all approved training providers. It would be a good idea to train your employees before Bill 160 passes. This will avoid the problems of trying to get your people trained before the deadline at the same time as the approved providers struggle to meet the demand.

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