Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, employers are required to ensure that workplaces with 6 to 19 workers have a worker Health and Safety Representative (HSR). The HSR must be selected by workers at the workplace who do not exercise managerial functions, or by the union where the workplace is unionized. (Workplaces with 20 or more employees are legally required to have a Joint Health and Safety Committee.)
To help small businesses comply with the law and strengthen their health and safety culture, the Ontario Ministry of Labour and health and safety associations (including Workplace Safety North) have developed an e-learning program that provides HSRs with the knowledge and skills they need to perform their legislated duties effectively.
The course is designed to help participants learn at their own pace in their own environment at their convenience. Topics covered include:
Recognizing, assessing and controlling workplace hazards
Resolving health and safety complaints and issues
Inspecting the workplace on a regular basis
Investigating incidents and accidents such as critical injuries and fatalities
Participating in investigations of work refusals, by which workers are legally entitled to refuse work that they believe is unsafe to themselves or other workers
Existing or newly appointed worker Health and Safety Representatives.