Special training symposium with Dr. Peter Strahlendorf

Friday, December 13, 2013

Educational PowerPoint and overview of staff surveys included with January 9 session

To help Ontario mines assess and strengthen safety culture, Workplace Safety North (WSN) in partnership with Dr. Peter Strahlendorf is presenting a special one-day Internal Responsibility System (IRS) advanced training initiative on Thursday, January 9, 2014 in the Sudbury region. 

Diagram of IRS process

As the philosophy behind the Occupational Health and Safety Act and a framework for due diligence, the IRS allocates responsibility, authority, and accountability for occupational health and safety across an organization. However, the IRS is often misunderstood and this one-day workshop is designed to provide an in-depth review, dispel myths concerning IRS, and describe what a well-functioning IRS looks like. 

This is a rare and unique opportunity to get an in-depth, up-close review from one of the pre-eminent experts on this important subject. With degrees in biology, environmental studies as well as a doctorate in law, Dr. Strahlendorf has consulted in the areas of occupational and environmental health and safety since 1983, and is currently a professor at Ryerson University’s School of Occupational and Public Health.

Participants will receive a PowerPoint they can use for IRS education in their individual workplaces, as well as IRS staff surveys as part of this workshop.

Last call: seats may still be available, please call customer service toll-free in Ontario at 1-888-730-7821 or 705-474-7233 or click here to register.


One-day symposium on the Internal Responsibility System led by occupational health and safety expert Dr. Strahlendorf. The program includes four follow-up steps that allow organizations to measure progress in raising awareness of this important lifesaving safety philosophy. 

IRS symposium follow-up includes:

(i) Survey 1: Before Internal Training. Participants are provided with surveys to administer in their workplace to determine how well the IRS is understood and functioning. WSN will collect and scan the surveys, barcoded to maintain anonymity, and provide the organization with a confidential report.

(ii) Staff Training on IRS with PowerPoint presentation provided. Participants of the IRS symposium will become trainers within their own organization and present the same material to staff at their workplace.

(iii) Survey 2: After Internal Training. Participants are provided with surveys to administer in their workplace to determine how well the IRS is understood and functioning. To track IRS awareness progress, WSN will collect and scan the surveys, barcoded to maintain anonymity, and provide the mine with a confidential report.

(iv) Once WSN has received and scanned all survey results, it will aggregate the results and maintain organizational anonymity in order to provide participants with a provincial overview of IRS in the Ontario mining industry.  

Benefit to your organization

The symposium will provide participants with tangible results regarding this important safety philosophy. It also provides participants with new tools and understanding to promote and strengthen IRS in their workplace, and a way to measure and track their progress. Seating is limited, so to avoid disappointment please click here to register or visit workplacesafetynorth.ca > Training > IRS Advanced Training Symposium. 

Related articles

A theory of incidents: You are your brother and sister’s keeper is an interview with Dr. Peter Strahlendorf, leading authority on the culture of safety, known as the Internal Responsibility System, in which each and every individual – from owner and CEO to supervisors and workers – is responsible for health and safety on the job.

MOL Blitz Results: Internal Responsibility System (IRS) in Mines. Ministry of Labour reports on the latest inspection blitz carried out at Ontario mines in July and August 2013.

How does the new national workplace training standard affect you? With the release of a new national voluntary occupational health and safety (OHS) training standard from Canadian Standards Association (CSA), organizations now have a basic framework that businesses of all sizes can follow.

Free Resources

The Internal Responsibility System – Mining Conference 2013 Proceedings. PowerPoint presentation by Dr. Peter Strahlendorf from Ryerson University’s School of Occupational and Public Health.

Additional Training

IRS Awareness: Mining is a one-day training session, intended for all mining personnel, which provides an overview of what the IRS is, how it forms the foundation of occupational health and safety law, and how each person in the workplace has a responsibility to make it work.

Due Diligence and IRS: A Supervisor’s Guide intended for supervisors, managers and directors of companies and OHS managers, trainers and supervisors was designed to make supervisors aware of their responsibilities and how to exercise them effectively with regard to due diligence and the internal responsibility system.

Supervisory Skills Notebook: On the Front Line is a 22-page pocket booklet built around the story of a struggling supervisor and his mentor, and offers an introduction to basic safety principles and systems, including the IRS, building safety consciousness, communication, and the factors affecting safety attitudes. This webpage also has more informational pdf downloads.