Employers often post new procedures in the workplace without
providing formal training. A recent decision of the Ontario Labour
Relations Board suggests that for some work procedures, posting is
not enough; rather, training is required.
After a concern was expressed, a transit company updated its
Standard Operating Procedure on how to handle a complete brake
system pressure loss. A Ministry of Labour inspector asked whether
all affected employees have been trained on the updated procedure,
which had been posted on information boards and video screens. The
employer's response was that affected employees should read the
information boards and video screens.
The inspector was apparently concerned that the employer could
not prove that all affected employees were aware of the new
procedure or how it was to be applied. The inspector ordered the
employer to "provide instruction and training" on
"the hazards of vehicular traffic in the event of a complete
brake system pressure loss in a bus".
The employer appealed the order and argued that there was no
suggestion that the employees did not understand the updated
procedure or that they were not aware of it. As such, said the
employer, the inspector's order should be suspended pending the
The Ontario Labour Relations Board held that the failure to
train or instruct on the updated procedure could endanger the
safety of employees. Further, the training did not put an onerous
burden on the employee. As such, the mere posting of the procedure
was not enough, and the MOL inspector's training order was not
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