It’s here! March 1 deadline for new Joint Health and Safety Committee Certification training law

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

WSN approved provider with Ontario Ministry of Labour

WSN Health and Safety Services and Products Catalogue

Workplace health and safety training session

As of March 1, 2016, the new Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) Certification training program standard becomes mandatory for all Ontario workplaces with 20 or more employees. The new standards replace 1996 training standards.

Workplace Safety North is officially approved by the Ministry of Labour as a provider for both Part 1 and Part 2 of the JHSC Certification training program under the new standards,” says John Levesque, WSN Acting Director of Program and Product Development.

The new standard means Ontario workers and employers now have more specific health and safety information as it applies to their particular industry, and can access high-quality interactive training programs. JHSC members already trained under 1996 standards have until April 30, 2016, to submit confirmation of their Part 2 training in order to receive their certification.

“The three-day Part 1 certification training program provides a general overview of legislated requirements and methods that help workers to recognize, assess, and control hazards, as well as to evaluate those hazard controls,” says Levesque.

WSN is an MOL-approved provider of JHSC Training

“WSN has also been approved to provide four versions of the Part 2 certification training that focus on the sector-specific hazards, and provides Joint Health and Safety Committee members the knowledge and skills to play their key role in recognizing, identifying and controlling those hazards.

The four WSN Part 2 certification training programs are: (1) forestry; (2) mining; (3) paper, printing and converting; and (4) pulp and paper. “Other than mining, which requires three days of training, Part 2 training programs require two full days of health and safety training,” adds Levesque.

Top 5 things to know about new JHSC training law in Ontario

1. Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act in Ontario, most workplaces with 20 or more employees must have a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC), and at least one committee member representing workers, and one committee member representing the employer, and each must possess JHSC certification. This is not a new requirement; however there are changes to what the certification process looks like.

2. Under the new standard, there will be three JHSC Certification Courses: Part 1, Part 2 and Refresher training.

a. Part 1 training is three days (19.5 hours) in length and includes such topics as occupational health and safety law, rights, duties and responsibilities of the workplace parties, along with duties and responsibilities of JHSC members.

b. Part 2 training is a minimum of two days (13 hours) in length and will focus on the concepts of hazard recognition, assessment and control, and evaluation of hazard controls; as applicable to a minimum of six hazards relevant to your specific workplace.

c. Refresher training is a minimum of one day in length (6.5 hours). Topics include a review of key concepts in Part 1 and 2 training, updates to legislation, standards, and best practices.

3. Sector-specific hazards addressed: Part 2 training now includes a review of a minimum of six sector-specific hazards. Employers need to select a minimum of six hazards for Part 2 certification training, and selection of those six hazards should be done in consultation with your JHSC to reflect the most significant hazards in your workplace. Ontario health and safety associations, such as Workplace Safety North (WSN), also work closely with the industry sectors to ensure Part 2 programs reflect the most significant hazards at a particular firm.

4. Refresher training to maintain certification: JHSC members granted certification status after March 1, 2016, require one day of refresher training every three years, which helps members stay current on the latest legislation and training for their sector. An exemption for an active member allows the refresher period to be extended, one time only, to six years, in order to maintain certification status.

5. Learning continuity: Parts 1 and 2 of training must be completed within six months of each other; a one-time application for extension due to extenuating circumstances is available through the MOL.

Purpose of JHSC

The Joint Health and Safety Committee is an advisory body, made up of workers and supervisors, that helps raise awareness of health and safety issues in the workplace. The committee meets regularly, conducts regular workplace inspections, and makes written recommendations to the employer for the improvement of health and safety. The internal responsibility system or ‘IRS’ is the foundation of Ontario’s approach to workplace health and safety, and it’s built on the principle that workplace parties share responsibility for occupational health and safety according to their ability to influence it. Both employees and employers work together to recognize and control hazards in their workplace to achieve optimum health and safety performance.

To discuss training, contact Workplace Safety North at 1-888-730-7821 or 705-474-7233 extension 0. To discuss the requirements of the new standards, contact the Ministry of Labour at 1-800-531-5551.


JHSC course descriptions

JHSC training schedule

Key changes to Joint Health and Safety Committee certification training

Joint Health and Safety Committees - Ontario Ministry of Labour