The Government of Ontario is reducing the five-day classroom joint health and safety committee training (JHSC) to three days, plus online learning.
The changes, introduced by Minister of Labour Laurie Scott, provide more flexibility by allowing training to take place solely online for the first part of the learning, and reduce the time that workers are out of the office. The government is also giving more time to complete the training: Part 2 needs to be completed within one year of Part 1. Under the current system, Part 1 and Part 2 have to be completed within six months of each other.
The changes affect around 50,000 workplaces and are estimated to save Ontario businesses and other organizations $5 million per year.
"Joint health and safety committees are a cornerstone of a well-functioning workplace internal responsibility system. These improvements will help workplaces promote a strong health and safety culture by meeting the needs of both employers and workers," said Ron Kelusky, Ontario's chief prevention officer.
Allowing the option of training to take place solely online — in addition to the existing options of classroom, distance and blended learning — reduces travel and accommodation costs for businesses, the provincial government said.
Workplaces with 20 or more workers are required to have a JHSC with one certified worker member and one certified employer member. About 15,000 JHSC members are certified every year in Ontario.
The provincial government has not yet announced when these changes will be in effect.
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