Ask the Expert – Supervisor Training

Q: As an employer, do I need to have a formal training plan for my supervisors?

Theo HeinemanTheo Heineman, CRSP, CHSC, B.Sc.Ag.
President & CEO, 1Life Workplace Safety Solutions Ltd.

A: YES. You must provide formal training to all employees that direct the work of others.

Not only to mitigate risk of liability in the event of a workplace incident but more importantly to set your workers up for success and ensure that they return home safe at the end of every workday.

Manitoba employers have been fined more than $50,000 for failing to train Supervisors.

What must your Supervisors need to be able to do?

  • Take the necessary precautions to protect the safety and health of workers under their supervision.
  • Ensure that workers comply with safe work procedures.
  • Advise workers of safety and health hazards in the work area.
  • Enforce safe work and use disciplinary action where necessary.

What should be in your Supervisor Training Plan?

When supervisors were trained in their responsibilities and how WCB works, between 19 – 28% of the overall reduction in new disability claims could be attributed to the training.
Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety Study.

In short, training your supervisors reduces loss to your people and your business!

Supervisors have an important role to play in preventing workplace injuries and illnesses; therefore they must be trained to fulfill that role. Supervisors need all of the instruction given to workers, plus the following training:

  • Relevant elements of the safety management system, including roles and responsibilities.
  • Hazard identification, assessment and control.
  • Conducting workplace inspections.
  • Use, care and limitations of personal protective equipment.
  • Requirements for worker training, competency, enforcement of safe work and disciplinary action.
  • Coaching and motivation.
  • Applicable sections of the WSH Act and regulations.
  • Any other matters necessary to ensure the safety and health of workers under their direction.

In determining whether a defense of “due diligence” is valid,
a judge or jury considers three main factors:

• Foreseeability – could a reasonable person have foreseen that something could go wrong?

• Preventability – was there an opportunity to prevent the incident?

• Control – who was the responsible person present who could have prevented the incident?

REMEMBER: If the training wasn’t documented, it didn’t happen.

Get your supervisors trained today!

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