Doug Ford’s government is on the attack once again, this time against the health and safety programs that keep more workers safe. Workplace safety and workers’ health will be at risk due to the government’s recent actions.
Under the changes, employers no longer need to send workers’ for a five-day classroom certification program where comprehensive and detailed learning can occur to protect workers’ health and safety. Instead employers have the option of forgoing the in-class training for online learning.
Your union is concerned employers will opt out from the classroom training, and only offer online learning as an option. It’s your union’s view that this in turn will weaken the quality of training and protections for workers across Ontario. Once again, Ford is putting employers first and workers last.
In 2017, more than 208 deaths and 57,000 accidents were reported at Ontario workplaces. It’s clear more work needs to be done to strengthen workers’ health and safety. Protecting the integrity and skills of our Joint and Health Safety Committees is important. Your JHSC representatives act as your voice by using their training to develop strategies for the reduction and elimination of hazards in your workplace.
Prior to these changes, Ontario employers and workers operated under standards which were approved by Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer after widespread public consultations that included the business community, labour organizations, the W.S.I.B’s board of directors and an expert panel of Health and Safety professionals. The previous standards specifically excluded an entirely, self paced e-learning option because e-learning cannot support adult education principles that are vital to assured learning. They were based on the understanding that effective adult education involves instruction, demonstration of knowledge and skills as well as proper evaluation.
Recent research from Ontario’s Institute for Work and Health (IWH) has concluded self paced e-learning is significantly less effective in creating “awareness & empowerment” when compared to active, instructor lead training. Learn more.
Your union encourages you to join us in contacting your MPPs and advocating for the protection of workers’ health and safety across Ontario.