Managers and supervisors training
The Canada Labour Code protects the rights of employers and employees and establishes a framework for the resolution of disputes. The objective of Part II is to reduce, as much as possible, the number of employees who suffer casualties as a result of their work activities.
It is the responsibility of the employer under paragraph 125.(1)(z) to ensure that employees who have supervisory or managerial responsibilities are adequately trained in health and safety and are informed of the responsibilities they have under Part II of the Code where they act on behalf of their employer. Although it is not required by the Code, the employer may have to hire qualified instructors to conduct the training.
The employer's managerial representatives should know, first, what their responsibilities are regarding health and safety, and second, how to address health and safety issues in a knowledgeable and informed manner. The increasing complexity of the work organization, the work processes and work materials requires that managers and supervisors receive the necessary training in health and safety.
1. What should the training cover?
Supervisors and managers, who act on behalf of their employer, should be adequately trained in 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 by the provisions of the Code.
Specifically, training should cover the duties of the employer, the duties of the employees, the three basic rights of employees, and procedures required by the Code, such as the steps to follow in cases of refusal to work, when complaints are filed, and when hazardous occurrences need to be investigated. For further information, please refer to pamphlets 4 The Right to Refuse Dangerous Work , 3 Internal Complaint Resolution Process and 7 Hazardous Occurrence Investigation Recording and Reporting respectively.
2. How extensive should the training be?
Compliance with the Code can be achieved through ongoing programs of instruction in the requirements of the legislation and in work practices and procedures specific to the particular work place.
Methods of instruction can include lectures, films, hands-on demonstrations, and information materials of various kinds. The extensiveness of the training is dependent on the work practices and procedures particular to the work place. For example, it is important and essential to explain appropriate lifting and carrying techniques and work procedures to supervisors and managers in distribution centers.
For work places with more and greater hazards, such as grain elevators, rail shops, warehouses, repair garages, and places where toxic substances are used, it would be necessary to provide supervisors and managers with instruction and hands-on practical training.
With respect to the duties of the employer and of the employees, and the basic rights of the employees, a lecture or an information session would normally be seen as sufficient training.
3. How much time should the employer have to comply?
Before a time frame is established, the following factors should be considered:
- the status of the employer's program;
- the complexity of the instruction and training required;
- any previous instruction and training that supervisors and managers may have had;
- the number of supervisors and managers to be trained; and
- the resources available to the employer to implement the training program.
In seeking compliance, health and safety officers will adhere to certain principles. First, efforts to comply may not be delayed or done on an "as time permits basis." Secondly, officers will encourage compliance within the shortest time frame possible. Thirdly, officers will look for signs of meaningful progress towards compliance.
Generally, it is the expectation of the Labour Program that federally regulated employers will move in a diligent and conscientious manner toward compliance with the law.
4. Are there exemptions from the requirements?
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