New occupational health and safety awareness training coming soon for York U employees

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Effective July 1, an amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) will go into effect. York University and other employers in Ontario will be required to ensure that all workers, including supervisors, complete a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program that meets the requirements of the new Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation (O. Reg. 297/13). The new legislation requires employers to provide supervisors with health and safety orientation within one week of being hired or promoted to a supervisory role. All other workers are required to participate in health and safety orientation as soon as it is reasonable to do so. This new legislation has been put in place to protect workers and to keep them safe on the job.

The training is designed to help prevent workplace incidents and injuries by making workers and supervisors aware of their roles, rights and responsibilities in the workplace. Statistics show that younger workers and those most recently hired are three times more likely to be injured in the first month of their employment, when compared to more experienced workers. In addition to the requirements, York University and other Ontario employers will continue to have a responsibility under the OHSA to inform workers about workplace-specific hazards; this information is provided to the York University community through specific health and safety programs and training, through Faculties, departments and the Health, Safety and Employee Well-Being team.

All faculty and staff of York University will need to complete this health and safety training. The training focuses on basic occupational health and safety awareness and workplace violence and harassment.

When will you need to complete this training?

Beginning in July, all recently hired faculty and staff will be required to complete the health and safety orientation e-learning within the first four to six weeks of employment. All new supervisors will be required to complete the health and safety orientation e-learning within the first week of being hired or promoted to a supervisory position. A link to the e-learning will be sent directly to the new employee/supervisor.

Note: For the purposes of the Occupational Health & Safety Act, the definition of “supervisor” is wide-ranging and includes anyone who has control over work or oversight of faculty, staff, graduate students, researchers, summer students, volunteers and work areas such as labs etc.

Current faculty and staff

Starting this fall, training will be rolled out to all current faculty, staff and supervisors; everyone is expected to complete the training via e-learning.

More information on the training module will be communicated over the next few months to the University community and will be made available on YU Link.

Additional information is also available through Health, Safety & Employee Well-Being by calling ext. 55491 or 416-736-5491. University community members can access information on the new legislation on the Ministry of Labour website.