This is the final blog in our three-part series about the new AODA Integrated Standards coming into effect in 2013. The first blog covered the Information and Communications portion and the second blog covered the Employment portion. Today we’re looking at Transportation. Although this might not affect as many companies as the other two standards, we still feel it’s important to keep employers informed.
Staying consistent with the goal of the AODA - to make Ontario fully accessible by 2025 - the goal of the Accessibility Standard for Transportation is to make it easier for everyone to travel in Ontario.
The standard applies to:
The requirements of this standard are comprehensive. Some of the requirements went into effect in 2011. The other requirements are being phased in between now and 2017. To find out what you what you have to do to comply with Ontario's accessibility law follow the AODA Compliance Wizard.
This standard is substantially more limited in its scope and generally applies to organizations providing transportation to the general public. Some of the requirements are similar to the general requirements expected for other parts of this legislation. Namely that organizations should implement a policy, make information accessible to the public in terms of any equipment or policies the organization may have or provide and finally train staff to ensure they are aware of the expectations.
The requirements also include making sure that any courtesy seating if available is clearly marked and not charging higher that the regular fare to people with disabilities. There are quite a few technical requirements for those organizations offering conventional transportation services along with simple things like providing verbal and visual announcements of routes and stops.
You can find out more about the Accessibility Standard for Transportation by reading the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation 191/11, or attending our AODA session on February 7, 2013.
To register for this session, or get assistance with regard to the AODA and its requirements from one of our knowledgeable consultants you can go to our website.
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As part two of our three-part series on the new AODA legislation, we are discussing your requirements as an employer in the province of Ontario under the new AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards. In our last blog we discussed the requirements of the Information and Communication Standard, which is the first of the standards under the AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards. This week we are focusing on the second of the three standards - Accessibility Standard for Employment and what this means to business owners and HR professionals in Ontario.
The Employment Standard is designed to help Ontario businesses and organizations make accessibility a regular part of finding, hiring and supporting employees with disabilities. The Standard applies to all employers in Ontario who employ at least one paid employee including full-time, part-time or apprenticeships. This standard does not apply to volunteers and other unpaid individuals (e.g., co-op placements, high school work experience placements).
There are many factors involved for organizations to comply with this piece of legislation. Below is a list of things organizations will have to do:
Employers need to make sure that their entire recruitment process from advertising the posting, accepting applications, selecting candidates and interviewing them, is accessible to all candidates. This will ensure that people with disabilities are treated the same as every other applicant. In addition, employees who become disabled during employment must be able to retain their jobs, if they can still perform the essential duties of the job.
As part of these standards, all sectors were required to provide individualized workplace emergency response information to employees, when necessary, as of January 1, 2012.
Part Three of the AODA Legislation states: “Unless otherwise specified in a section, obligated organizations, as employers, shall meet the requirements set out in this Part in accordance with the following schedule:
Need more information or help getting started? Clear Path is here for you!
We are offering an AODA learning session on February 7, 2013 that will focus on the new Integration Standards providing you with the information you need to be compliant. Register before January 24th to receive a discounted price!
We also offer a DIY AODA Package that includes a workplace accessibility tool, customizable policy statement, a PowerPoint presentation to train your employees and more. You can purchase the DIY Package through our website or by contacting us via email or phone.
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With the next installment of AODA legislation coming into effect, it is important to understand what your requirements are as a business owner and why complying with the legislation is a benefit to you and your company.
In Ontario, 1.85 million Ontarians have some type of disability. As the baby boomers age, this number will only go up. Increased accessibility will allow Ontarians to fully benefit from the contributions, involvement and spending power of people with disabilities. The AODA will help make this possible is with the goal of making Ontario fully accessible by 2025. The implementation of the legislation is happening in five separate standards. The first standard has already come into effect and now the Integrated Accessibility standards are being implemented. Today, we’re focusing on the Information and Communication standard.
The Information and Communication standard will help Ontario businesses make their information accessible for people with disabilities. The main requirements of this standard are to:
To full understand the requirements, there are important terms that you should become familiar with. Below are three terms that are often used when discussing the Information and Communication Standard.
When do you need to be compliant?
All sectors were required to start making emergency procedures or public safety information accessible to people with disabilities, upon request, as of January 1, 2012. The other requirements of the standard will be phased in for:
Where should you begin?
Here are the steps to consider when making information accessible:
Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed - Clear Path is offering an AODA learning session on February 7, 2013 that will focus on the new Integration Standards providing you with the information you need to be compliant. We also offer a DIY AODA Package that includes a workplace accessibility tool, customizable policy statement, a PowerPoint presentation to train your employees and more. You can purchase the DIY Package through our website or by contacting us via email or phone.
We'd love to connect with you!
For most organizations, Health and Safety is an important issue and this is reflected in their culture and their workplace policy and practices. Recently, the Government of Ontario and their workplace partners have taken some significant steps to increase their commitment to eliminating workplace injuries. In order to execute this goal, the Ministry of Labour has developed the Safe At Work Ontario compliance strategy which is designed to improve the health and safety culture of workplaces, reduce workplace injuries and illness and avoid costs for employers and the WISB. Having a strong Safety culture with a working Internal Responsibility System is imperative for organizations who want to make sure that Health and Safety is top most on their priority list.
According to the Safe at Work compliance strategy, a strong Health and Safety workplace culture consists of:
Competence - Appropriate knowledge and training, systems for responding to events, properly functioning Joint Health and Safety Committee and other IRS components
Commitment - Demonstration by the employer of leadership on safety, appropriate policies and procedures to protect workers, low tolerance for poor health and safety practices, insistence upon full compliance
Capacity - Adequate resources for preventing injuries, good system
for obtaining assistance from HSAs and the WSIB
How do you choose a representative?
Employees who are not in a managerial role are candidates for the position; however they can select a person to be appointed as the health and safety representative. Alternatively in a unionized environment, when employees are represented by a trade union, the union consults with the non-unionized employees and then makes their selection for the rep from the unionized group.
What are the duties of the health and safety representative?
The worker representative has four main functions:
A more detailed listing of responsibilities for this individual can be found here.
What training is necessary for this role and how is it provided?
Employers must provide certification training to the employee who fills this role (section 5.1 of the OHSA). The first step in becoming certified is to successfully complete the Occupational Safety Group’s certification training program. It’s important to note that according to section 5.3, the employer is required to compensate the health and safety representative while they complete their training.
After the training has been completed, the candidate will receive a wallet-sized certificate directly from the WSIB and this will usually expire after one year. If the health and safety representative wishes to continue in this role, they will have to attend a refresher training course, after one year.
What does a business owner need to do to comply?
For the small business owner making sure Health and Safety is a priority and taken seriously by all can sometimes be a challenge. One of the ways you can ensure that your Internal Responsibility system is working well and your culture is focused on eliminating work-related injuries in your workplace is by having a health and safety representative. Not only is it a great idea to have an advocate and champion in this area, it is the law. According to section 8.1 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, if you work at a company with fewer than 20 employees, it is required that you have a health and safety representative.
Need help setting up a health and safety representative/program?
Clear Path’s health and safety team provides training, policy development and the expertise you need to establish a culture of safety in your workplace. We have extensive health and safety programs and can assist you in identifying gaps in your current program with our Mock Audit service.
Contact us today for more information or to speak with a consultant.
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Although it’s called a holiday “vacation” it’s doubtful that many of you actually had time to relax this holiday season. With all the parties and celebrations you have likely put in many late nights, spent time traveling and indulging in holiday treats and cocktails. Well the party is over! The beginning of January marks that time when the late nights and lazy mornings end. That’s right, it’s time to head back to work! And those who are heading back to work this week might be feeling the winter season post-holiday blues.
It’s not easy gearing up to go back to work; you have to prepare yourself both physically and mentally in order to get back into the “work” mode. For some of us this is more challenging - especially if you were enjoying your holiday vacation on a beach under the sun. Regardless of whether you spent your time-off enjoying the company of a beach, or the company of your in-laws, there are some things you can do to prepare yourself to get back to work:
Relax – This may sound outrageous to some of you, but think back to your holiday vacation; chances are you were kept occupied the entire time. Between the parties and celebrations, shopping and entertaining, did you really get a moment to relax? That’s why this is number one on the list. Take some time over the next week or so to put your feet up after work, order in and get to bed early.
Plan something in January – It’s hard coming off of a week or two of non-stop dinners and parties. Once January comes around you might feel as though there is nothing exciting coming up in the future. Try planning an event in January with your colleagues in the office so that everyone has something to look forward to! Ideas: potluck lunch, staff appreciation, team building session.
Stay positive – This can be difficult when you transition from sleeping in and attending holiday events, to waking up early and working a full day. However one of our recommendations is to stay positive by making some New Year’s resolutions in your office. Small changes can make a big difference in your day-to-day work life.
Get your internal clock back on track – Chances are you haven’t been up at your regular working hours over the holidays. The first day back to work can be extra difficult when your alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m. for the first time in over a week. Try setting your alarm to “work” the day before your scheduled shift. Even one extra day can help get your internal clock back on track.
Another great way to get back into the swing of things at work is by learning something new. Clear Path offers learning sessions on a variety of topics including: AODA Legislation, Managing Employee Absence and Employee Policy Manuals. Visit our training page and challenge yourself to learning something new in 2013 by attending one of our learning sessions!
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