United States: New Ontario Mandatory Health And Safety Awareness Training For Workers And Supervisors: Deadline July 1, 2014

The safety and wellbeing of employees in the workplace is a concern in respect of employers of all sizes and across all sectors. This concern was magnified in Ontario after a quadruple fatality involving a scaffolding accident at a construction site on December 24, 2009. Subsequently, an expert advisory panel reviewed Ontario's occupational health and safety system and concluded that employees were not receiving sufficient training about workplace roles, rights and responsibilities. The panel recommended compulsory health and safety awareness training for all workers and supervisors in Ontario. In response, the Ontario government has introduced a new regulation that creates additional obligations on employers to provide training in the workplace.

Application of the Regulation

Ontario Regulation 297/13 Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training (the "Regulation") is the new regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (the "Act"). Filed on November 14, 2013, the Regulation requires all Ontario employers in all workplaces, including those that are not considered to be high-risk, to provide their employees with basic occupational health and safety awareness training by July 1, 2014. The training's two streams focus on supervisor and worker training.

The Regulation has broad application. It applies to all workers and supervisors in the Province who are covered by the Act. "Worker" is defined in the Act to include "a person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation". This definition can include, for example, third-party contractors. To comply, businesses should confirm that contractors, including their employees, have completed the safety awareness training. "Supervisor" under the Act is defined as "a person who has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker." Consequently, "supervisors" will include managers within a workplace, and also likely would include others with a lesser degree of authority or control. For example, a lead hand would be included in this definition. A lead hand might be in charge of a small group of employees but is not strictly what one would consider to be part of management.

Content of the Training

The Regulation sets out the content that the training must include. Specifically, the Regulation requires that workers complete training on the following:

1. the duties and rights of workers under the Act;

2. the duties of employers and supervisors under the Act;

3. the roles of health and safety representatives and joint health and safety committees under the Act;

4. the roles of the Ministry, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and entities designated under section 22.5 of the Act with respect to occupational health and safety;

5. common workplace hazards;

6. the requirements set out in Regulation 860 (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) with respect to information and instruction on controlled products; and

7. occupational illness, including latency. (Latency describes a circumstance in which employees are exposed to hazardous or harmful substances and a significant amount of time elapses before related symptoms arise. The effects of exposure may not be identified until much later, possibly long after employment.)

In addition to these requirements, supervisors must also be trained on:

1. how to recognize, assess and control workplace hazards, and evaluate those controls; and

2. sources of information on occupational health and safety.


The Regulation provides for certain compliance exceptions. Where a worker or supervisor previously completed a "basic" occupational health and safety awareness training program and provides the employer with proof of completion of the training, this may constitute an exemption to the new mandatory training. However, the employer must be able to verify that the previous training meets the Regulation's requirements as set out above.

Notwithstanding these exemptions, employers may choose to implement the new training using the Ministry of Labour's training materials so as to avoid future disputes regarding the level of training of workers and supervisors. Some of the information to be described during the course of training mandated by the Regulation has recently been modified. For example, the roles of the Ministry of Labour, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, and Health and Safety Associations have been modified, such that employers may not have covered this information accurately in their existing safety awareness programs.

Training Materials

Training may be provided using the Ministry of Labour's online "e-learning" modules which are typically 60 minutes in length, or by face-to-face sessions (group or individual) with the employees, which may vary in length at the discretion of the employer. The Ministry of Labour has made several resources available to employers to assist with compliance. These resources include printed workbooks and e-learning training modules that are free of charge. They are available through ServiceOntario or the Ministry of Labour website.

Employers may choose to use their own training materials; however, these materials must include the mandated topics.


Once the required training is complete, employers must maintain a record of the training and documentation addressing proper exemptions. Employers must provide workers or supervisors with written proof of completion of the training or exemptions upon request. This obligation continues for six months after the worker or supervisor no longer performs work for the employer.

Deadlines and Penalties

The deadline for training current workers and supervisors according to the Regulation is July 1, 2014. For new workers hired after July 1, 2014, the training deadline is "as soon as practicable" after they begin work. For supervisors appointed to a supervisory position after July 1, 2014, their training must be completed within one week of starting work as a supervisor.

The mandatory training is valid for the employee's working career. It is prudent for employers, however, to implement a policy that maintains a high standard of employee training and knowledge for a safe workplace.

After July 1, 2014, failure to comply with the Regulation may be an offence under the Act. While non-compliance can result in a compliance order, penalties upon conviction under the Act can include a significant fine or imprisonment or both. Non-compliance can also serve as a notice to inspectors that a company is not current with its safety obligations.

Final Thoughts

It is important for all employers to be aware of these new obligations and to comply with the Regulation. It is clearly in the best interests of employers and employees alike to avoid workplace accidents and maintain a safe workplace.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.