Free health and safety training now available for small businesses
The Ontario government is investing $10.5 million to provide up to 60,000 small businesses across the province with free health and safety training over the next three years. The new Small Business Health and Safety Training Program will improve health and safety awareness to help prevent illnesses and injures by training health and safety representatives of small businesses on how to keep workers safe in the retail, construction, health care, accommodation and food services, and other sectors. Businesses will also be reimbursed for the time the representatives are away from work.
Ontario’s new Small Business Health and Safety Training Program will cover the course registration costs for an employee who is appointed by their colleagues as a health and safety representative for their workplace. The program will also reimburse small businesses $150 towards the representative’s training time. All small businesses that have six to 19 employees are required to have a health and safety representative and they can apply for this program.
The free training takes about six to eight hours for most people to complete, and covers a range of topics, including:
occupational health and safety laws
rights, duties and responsibilities of workplace parties
duties and responsibilities of the health and safety representative under the Occupational Health and Safety Act
recognition, assessment, control and evaluation of common workplace hazards
To register for the free training, eligible small businesses must access the course through Workplace Safety and Prevention Services’ website. Once training is complete, small business applicants should retain a copy of the certificate of completion as proof for their refund of the $25 registration fee and the $150 toward the cost of worker training time.
Small businesses can apply for reimbursement through the Small Business Health and Safety Training Program starting in Fall 2021.