Purpose

The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act imposes a strict duty on the City, as an employer, to appoint competent supervisors. Section 25(2)(c) states that “an employer shall, when appointing a supervisor, appoint a competent person”. Competent supervisors are well positioned to protect the health and safety of City employees and to encourage and enforce legislative compliance in City workplaces. Conviction for failure to ensure that City of Toronto supervisors are “competent” could result in fines of up to $500,000 against the Corporation and individual penalties of up to $25,000 and/or one year imprisonment for supervisory personnel, City officers and directors.

Ontario Regulation 297/13, made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, entitled Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training, requires that all supervisors complete the Ministry of Labour’s Supervisor Health and Safety Awareness within 5 Steps training module (available on the City’s learning management system, ELI) within one week of performing work as a supervisor.

This policy, developed at the direction of the Occupational Health and Safety Coordinating Committee, establishes requirements with respect to hiring, training, performance management and promotion to ensure that City supervisors are competent from a health and safety perspective. This policy, and its accompanying training standard, is further intended to promote a uniform standard of occupational health and safety knowledge amongst supervisory staff throughout the City.

Application

This policy applies to all City of Toronto service areas. All City divisions and staff will implement the provisions of this policy and its accompanying training standards.

Definitions

Competent person:

A person who:

  1. is qualified because of knowledge, training and experience to organize the work and its performance;
  2. is familiar with the Act and regulations that apply to the work; and
  3. has knowledge of any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace

Supervisor:

A person who has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker.

(Supervisory staff include, but are not necessarily limited to, senior managers, managers, front-line supervisors, forepersons, lead hands and RN’s-in-charge. The determination of whether an individual is a supervisor is based on job responsibilities, not on management/bargaining unit status). As case law has shown that a lead hand, depending on circumstances, may be found by the courts to be a supervisor, it is required that in-charge personnel such as lead hands and RNs-in-charge also complete the supervisory training requirements specified by this policy. Some City staff may play a leadership role with other employees that is not supervisory in nature. In these cases, training appropriate to the level of assigned health and safety responsibility will be provided.

Responsibilities

Divisions are responsible for:

  • incorporating occupational health and safety training courses into their supervisory training plans
  • ensuring new supervisory staff complete the Ministry of Labour’s Supervisor Health and Safety Awareness in 5 Steps training module within one week of being hired/promoted to a supervisory position
  • orienting new supervisory staff to health and safety hazards, issues and protective measures within their area of responsibility in advance of assigning them supervisory responsibilities
  • ensuring that all supervisory staff appointed demonstrate health and safety competency by:
    • referencing necessary health and safety qualifications in the job posting,
    • incorporating relevant health and safety questions into the interview process,
    • verifying that an individual has successfully completed supervisory occupational health and safety training or making the successful completion of the appropriate and next available supervisory occupational health and safety competency course a condition of employment as a supervisor (if internal hiring/promotion process),
    • making the successful completion of the appropriate and next available supervisor occupational health and safety course a condition of employment (if external hiring/promotion process)
  • ensuring that all current supervisory staff are competent. All supervisors in areas where workers perform high risk jobs (as indicated by injury and illness statistics, number of health and safety concerns raised by joint health and safety committees and workers, extent to which operations are impacted by legislation and corporate and service area health and safety policies and procedures) should be given highest priority during scheduling of training. (A Standard for Supervisory Occupational Health and Safety Training is attached in Appendix A, B and C).
  • establishing a mechanism for documenting and tracking supervisory occupational health and safety training
  • including occupational health and safety competency in performance evaluations for those supervisors whose job responsibilities have a significant health and safety component (as indicated by injury and illness statistics, number of health and safety concerns raised by joint health and safety committees and workers, extent to which operations are impacted by legislation and corporate and service area health and safety policies and procedures)
  • ensuring that the health and safety knowledge of supervisors is updated on a regular basis. (In addition to ongoing communication mechanisms, this may be achieved through attendance of a refresher program)
  • conducting an annual assessment of the occupational health and safety training needs of supervisory staff and providing such ongoing training as may be needed (i.e. to address identified health and safety issues, new legislation, injury trends, etc)

Supervisory staff are responsible for:

  • completing the Ministry of Labour’s Supervisor Health and Safety Awareness in 5 Steps training module within one week of being hired/promoted to a supervisory position
  • attending required Supervisory Occupational Health and Safety Competence courses,
  • ensuring they are fully knowledgeable of work-related hazards to which their employees are exposed and controls to protect from these hazards (as covered in worker health and safety training courses)
  • making ongoing efforts to familiarize themselves with legislative and City health and safety requirements
  • bringing forward to their divisions their occupational health and safety training needs, on an ongoing basis and during the annual needs assessment
  • applying the occupational health and safety knowledge acquired through training and other methods of communication to protect worker health and safety and ensure legislative compliance within their area of responsibility

The Health and Safety Section of Human Resources is responsible for:

  • the development of Supervisory Occupational Health and Safety Competence course materials, including instructors’ lesson plans, leaders’ guides, participants’ manuals, PowerPoint presentations, case studies and evaluations
  • maintaining a pool of questions and establishing standards for successful completion of evaluations
  • coordinating and delivering Supervisory Health and Safety Competence courses
  • ensuring course information is entered into ELI
  • providing, when requested, a report to the Occupational Health and Safety Coordinating Committee on the percentage of supervisory staff, by service area, who have successfully completed training
  • following up with supervisors and their managers when a participant fails to meet the training requirements of a program
  • reporting to the Occupational Health and Safety Coordinating Committee on Ministry of Labour orders or advice related to supervisory competency

The Occupational Health and Safety Coordinating Committee is responsible for:

  • monitoring the level of occupational health and safety supervisory competence achieved
  • reporting any significant compliance concerns, with recommendations to address these concerns, to the senior management team

Training Standard

Appendix A

Training Standard: Front-Line Supervisory Health and Safety Competence

This program consists of 4 modules.

[Note: Additional content may be added in response to significant new legislation and/or City policies and programs]

Module 1: Health and Safety Legislation
  • Background on why supervisors are required to be competent including legislative requirements
  • Explanation and discussion of the definition of “competent person”
  • Ontario’s health and safety legislative framework, namely the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations, including
    • Their purpose
    • Elements of the Act and regulations, how to read and interpret them, their application in a City context
  • The broader legislative framework, i.e. basic information on other Acts, regulations and standards which are relevant in the protection of worker health and safety (e.g. Criminal Code of Canada, Human Rights Code, Fire Code, First Aid Regulation, Workplace Safety and Insurance Act)
  • The City’s health and safety framework and internal responsibility system including
    • The role of the Occupational Health & Safety Coordinating Committee
    • The structure, functions and duties of joint health and safety committees/health and safety representatives
    • Roles of those staff in health and safety positions including Human Resources, Divisions and Bargaining Units
  • The external responsibility system
  • City’s health and safety policies and service area programs
  • Responsibilities of the workplace parties (with an emphasis on the employer, supervisor and worker)
  • Rights of workers, including how those rights are exercised and the supervisor’s role:
    • Right to know
    • Right to participate
    • Right to refuse unsafe work (legislative requirements and City process)
    • Right to no reprisal
  • Work stoppages (certified members)
  • Role of the Ministry of Labour inspectors including enforcement of the Acts and regulations
  • Court established due diligence requirements
  • Health and safety resources
Module 2: Recognizing, Assessing, Controlling and Evaluating Hazards (RACE)
  • Recognition of hazards including anticipating
    • Types of hazards
    • Hazard recognition tools
  • Assessment of Hazards
    • Hazard reporting procedure
    • Job hazard analysis
  • Control of hazards including
    • The hierarchy of controls
    • Location of controls
Module 3: Musculoskeletal Disorders

Given that approximately 40 % of injuries to City staff are MSD related and to support the MSD policy and its obligation to train supervisors this module includes:

  • An overview of the requirements of the MSD policy and program
  • Musculoskeletal disorders and manual material handling
  • Injury statistics
  • Office ergonomics (for those who supervise office staff)
  • Detailed training on completing the Hazard Identification Form and the flow chart process
  • Training on completing the Supervisors’ Report of Injury/ Incident to improve quality of statistics
  • Knowledge of self-help materials available on the City intranet
Module 4: Injury/Incident Investigation
  • A review of City injury/incident statistics and WSIB costs
  • Legal requirements for notifying parties of injuries/incidents including the Ministry of Labour, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, JHSCs and bargaining units
  • What are injuries and incidents
  • Incident investigation processes including as a minimum
    • City policies and the obligation to investigate
    • Pre-planning
    • Investigations kits
    • Preservation of evidence
    • Securing the scene
    • Tools such as sketches, photographs and videotaping
    • Interviewing witnesses
    • Reviewing records
    • Determining the causes of an accident
    • Recommendations
    • Writing a critical injury report
    • Completing the Supervisors’ Report of Injury/ Incident

Successful completion of this course will be assessed by the administration of a standardized health and safety questionnaire. The purpose of this questionnaire is to assess the knowledge base of participants, such that additional tutoring or training opportunities can be provided as soon as reasonably achievable.

Appendix B

Training Standard: Senior & Middle Manager Health and Safety Competence

Occupational health and safety training for senior and middle managers must include, at a minimum:

  • Discussion of health and safety benchmarks, including the City’s injury and disease experience, Ministry of Labour orders/advice, etc.
  • Ontario’s health and safety legislative framework, namely the occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations, including:
    • Their purpose
    • Elements of the Act and the regulations, how to read and interpret them, their application in a City context
  • The broader legislative framework, i.e. basic information on other Acts, regulations and standards which are relevant in the protection of worker health and safety (e.g. Criminal Code of Canada, Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, Building Code, Fire Code)
  • Explanation and discussion of the definition of “competent person”
  • Tools for evaluation of health and safety performance during the performance management process
  • The City’s health and safety framework including:
    • The role of the Occupational Health and Safety Coordinating Committee
    • Structure and function of joint health and safety committees in the service area
    • Roles of those staff in various health and safety positions
  • The external responsibility system
  • City’s health and safety policies and division programs and procedures
  • Rights and responsibilities of all the workplace parties
  • Requirements of a health and safety program
  • Process for addressing hazards
  • Management’s responsibility within key City health and safety programs
  • The concept of due diligence and what is expected in establishing a due diligence defense

Successful completion of this course will be assessed by the administration of a standardized health and safety questionnaire. The purpose of this questionnaire is to assess the knowledge base of participants, such that additional tutoring or training opportunities can be provided as soon as reasonably achievable.

Appendix C

Training Standard: Health and Safety Supervisor Competency Refresher Program

Prerequisite: participants must have successfully completed a full Health & Safety Competency Program for either frontline supervisors or senior/middle managers.

  • Review of key responsibilities of supervisors under the Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Review of key responsibilities of the City’s health and safety program
  • Review of recognizing, assessing, controlling and evaluating hazards
  • Review of musculoskeletal disorders
  • Review of incident investigation and reporting
  • Overview of new legislation, standards, policies, programs best practices
  • Review of tools and resources available to the supervisor
  • Provide a forum for participating supervisors to share their experiences and best practices in carrying out their health and safety responsibilities
  • Provide a forum for participating supervisors to raise challenges in carrying out their health and safety responsibilities and to brainstorm on best methods to resolve these challenges

Authority

Occupational Health and Safety Act (R.S.O. 1990, c. 0.1)
Ontario Regulation 297/13, made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training

Endorsed by

Occupational Health and Safety Coordinating Committee (OHSCC), April 22, 2008

Approved by

City Manager

Date Approved

August 20, 2008

OHSCC Reviewed

April 26, 2016

Reviewed and Revised

Occupational Health and Safety Coordinating Committee (OHSCC), February 28, 2012
November 25, 2014
April 26, 2016

Related links

Occupational Health and Safety Act
Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training