Clear Path's HR Assistant and Project Manager Kyle Irwin shares about his recent experience at the Health and Safety Peer Networking Group:
In addition to my duties at Clear Path Employer Services, I co-chair a Health and Safety Peer Networking group sponsored by the Grand Valley Chapter of the HRPA. We meet monthly at various locations to discuss the challenges and successes we are having, learn what’s new in Health and Safety, and receive a tour of our host facility.
This past Wednesday, we met at the Sutherland-Schultz facility in Cambridge and had Zeljko Ilincic from the Ministry of Labour come out to speak about a number of topics. Many thanks go out to Sheri White at Sutherland-Schultz for not backing out when she learned that a MOL inspector was coming out to her workplace. You’re a trooper, Sheri!
Zeljko started off by sharing the 2013-2014 MOL inspection blitz schedule and the industry specific schedules. He then touched on many subjects, including:
One topic I found particularly interesting is the new worker/supervisor training, which may very soon become a mandatory requirement for all workplaces (recommendations 14 and 15 of the Tony Dean report.) While this training is currently a tentative suggestion, it is likely to become mandatory in January 2014. This would provide the basis for a province-wide standard for Health and Safety training. There’s also an opportunity for employers, employees and anyone with an interest in Health and Safety to provide their feedback before May 17, 2013. Zeljko added that the MOL will accept past training as long as it’s documented and meets or exceeds the standards laid out in the new requirements.
If you’re looking to set up a Joint Health and Safety Committee, but not sure where or how to start, Zeljko informed us that the MOL’s website has a list of approved trainers for basic certification, check it out here. We are also always happy to help with development of Health and Safety programs, training and auditing existing programs. Clear Path Employer Services has experts on staff that will get your H&S policies and program up and running in no time.
The Ministry also has its Sector Plans available. Simply click on your sector, specify which sub-section you’re involved in and see the MOL’s plans for that sector, as well as what inspectors would be looking for during a visit.
Zeljko also shared some of the changes that were recently made involving the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act (OCTAA). As of April 8, 2013, the OCTAA will now be responsible for issuing Certificates of Qualification. Something that was pointed out is that tradespeople (electricians, etc.) now have to renew their certificates of qualifications every year as opposed to every three years. Oddly enough, the fee remains the same on a yearly renewal as it was for the three year renewal……making for some very unhappy tradespersons.
We also discussed the ramifications of the decision of the Court of Appeals regarding the death of a guest at Blue Mountain and their ruling that “There must be a nexus between the hazard giving rise to the critical injury or death and a realistic risk to workers’ safety.” Finally, we briefly discussed the future of the WSIB Workwell program which was under Bill 160 to be moved to the MOL, with the rest of the Prevention Branch of WSIB . Zelko advised that there is no official word on what is the fate of Workwell but the general thought is that its’ continuance is not a sure thing. He did confirm, however that the Health and Safety Association is working with the MOL so if Workwell ceases to exist, there will almost certainly be something to replace it.
As you can see, we covered a great deal of information during Zeljko’s one hour presentation, and I’m sure there’s much more I could write about. However, these sessions are much more fun in person, so why not come out and join us at one? Or, if your facility would like to host/provide a speaker for our meeting, I promise I will do my best not to invite an inspector from the Ministry of Labour.
For more information about the Grand Valley chapter of the HRPA, the Health and Safety Peer Networking Group meetings, or if you would like to be added to our invitation list, please drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org or myself, email@example.com.
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