The Ministry of Labour presented a news release in late January about new changes for Joint Health & Safety Committee training (JHSC). Minister Laurie Scott is apparently bringing Ontario’s health & Safety training to the “21st Century” and this would save companies a combined $5 million dollars a year. Sounds great, right? What’s rocking the Health & Safety training world is more what they left out of this news release than what they put in.
What are the changes coming to JHSC training?
#1 The MOL will soon allow the JHSC Part 1 to be taken exclusively online if companies wish to do so.
Note: The 3 day in-class training will not change, but companies may soon be able to choose whether to have their workers attend a class or do it online by themselves.
#2 The time between taking JHSC Part 1 and Part 2 will be extended from 6 months to 12 months.
The nitty-gritty about these changes
The biggest change is of course the fact that JHSC Part 1 can be a fully online course. We talked to a Ministry representative that mentioned a very interesting fact they did not convey to the public:
JHSC Part 1 Online is currently set to be a 1 day only course
WHAT?! What does this mean to the current standard that requires in class training to last 3 days? How are they able to cram all subjects required by the MOL into 1 day? There’s no possible way they can combine 3 days’ worth of content into 1 day so they must be revising the content itself. If so, one can only assume that the in-class training standard will also change. If this is true, what is going to happen to the people that will be currently taking and paying for 3 days’ worth of training when the new standard comes into place?
The same Ministry representative that threw us that bomb about JHSC Part 1 Online also told us that this 12 month change between taking JHSC Part 1 and Part 2 will make obsolete the current deadline extension process. This means that people will have no way of applying to get an extension if, for some reason, they are not able to complete JHSC Part 2 within the 12 months given. Workers that miss this deadline will now be forced to retake JHSC Part 1 before trying to get Part 2 and achieve their full certification.
See what I mean about rocking the Health & Safety landscape?
What about JHSC Part 2 and Refresher?
There are currently no changes regarding these two courses, but why allow JHSC Part 1 to be taken online and not Part 2? If the idea is to save companies time and money by not having their employees travel to a class training, why does this not apply for JHSC Part 2 or even the Refresher?
This news release created more questions than answered them and the Ministry is simply telling us to sit and wait for more information. There is currently no timeline as to when these changes will take effect or what the new standard for online will look like.
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