Instruction and Training of Employees who have Supervisory or Managerial Responsibilities in Health and Safety - 104-2-IPG-061

Effective Date: November 23, 2000 (Revised)

1. Subject

Application of paragraph 125(1)(z) of Canada Labour Code , part II concerning the instruction and training of employees, who have supervisory or managerial responsibilities, in occupational health and safety and are informed of their responsibilities under the Code and pursuant regulations.

2. Issue

What is the extent and depth of training in health and safety and responsibilities, under the Code, the employer is required to provide to employees who have supervisory or managerial responsibilities?

The following position has been developed to assist Health and Safety Officers in advising employers and employees concerning the nature and scope of this requirement.

3. Questions

  1. Who is to be trained?
  2. What should they be trained in?
  3. How extensive should the training be?
  4. Who is to provide the training?
  5. How much time should the Labour Program of HRDC allow an employer to comply?

4. Conclusion

  1. Who is to be trained?

    All persons employed by an employer at a work place who have supervisory or managerial responsibilities, and who act on behalf of the employer.

  2. What should they be trained in?

    Supervisors and managers, who act on behalf of their employer, should be adequately trained and informed of their responsibilities in safe work practices and procedures, including any procedures, plans, policies or programs that the employer is required to develop pursuant to the Code, or any regulations made pursuant to the Code.

    Training should include, the duties of the employer, the duties of the employees, the three basic rights of employees, and procedures required by the Code i.e. the proper steps to follow in cases of refusal to work, the internal complaint resolution procedure, etc. Additionally, those requirements prescribed by the Code i.e., the obligation to report and investigate hazardous occurrences under part XV of the COHSR.

  3. How extensive should the training be?
    1. Compliance can be achieved through on-going programs of instruction and training sessions whereby the employer provides instruction and training to supervisors and managers of the Code requirements, and work practices and procedures specific to the particular work place - at a level which may be understood.
    2. Instruction and training may include, but not be limited to, lectures, films, hands-on demonstrations, information brochures and pamphlets, and follow-up or any combination of these methods.
    3. The extent and depth of the training required is dependent on the work practices and procedures particular to the work place operations. For example, it may be sufficient to explain appropriate lifting and carrying techniques to supervisors and managers in office occupancies. Employers should, however, be encouraged to provide hands-on practical training whenever possible.
    4. For higher hazard occupancies such as rail shops, grain elevators, workshops, warehouses, repair garages, etc., it would be necessary to provide supervisors and managers with instruction and hands-on practical training i.e. in confined spaces entry procedures; erection, use, dismantling or removal of a scaffold, use of fall-protection devices, etc.
    5. It should be considered essential to provide hands-on practical training to those supervisors and managers responsible for employees in remote work sites.
    6. With respect to the duties of the employer and employees and the basic rights of employees i.e. refusal to work procedures, and/or internal complaints resolution, a lecture, and/or information session would normally be considered sufficient training.
  4. Who is to provide the training?

    The onus is on the employer to appoint "qualified personnel" to provide the necessary instruction and training. Although it is not required by the Code, where necessary, the employer may have to hire "qualified personnel" to conduct instruction and training.

  5. How much time should HRDC-Labour allow an employer to comply?
    1. Before a time frame is established or requested from an employer, the following factors are to be considered:
      • the status of the employer's program (if any) at the time of the health and safety officer's intervention;
      • the complexity of the instruction and training required in the workplace;
      • any previous instruction or training that supervisors and managers may have had;
      • the number of supervisors and managers to be trained; and
      • the resources available to the employer in order to implement the program.
    2. Because of the many variables involved, it is HRDC-Labour's position that health and safety officers will use discretion in seeking compliance within the scope of the compliance policy. The following factors should be considered:
      • efforts to comply may not be delayed or done on an "as time permits basis";
      • encourage and promote compliance within the shortest time frame possible; and
      • look for signs of meaningful progress towards compliance.
    3. The Department fully expects federally regulated employers to move, in a diligent and conscientious manner, without delay, towards compliance.
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