Training of Supervisors: A Cornerstone of the Internal Responsibility System and Effective Safety Management

Supervisors also know as managers, foremen and lead hands have shown to be the greatest influencers of the behaviours and safety performance of their employees.  Studies have also shown that when supervisors are trained in the purpose and function of the Safety Management System and how WCB works it has resulted in significant reduction in WCB claims and related costs.

Finally training of Supervisors is a legal requirement under workplace safety and health regulatory requirements. Training supervisors sets both your employees and the organization up to succeed and is a key element of responsible risk management practices.

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?

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 the instruction given to workers, plus the following training:

  Relevant elements of the workplace safety and health program, 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.

  How to provide coaching and motivation to employees.

  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.

In celebration of NAOSH week and to “Help Make Safety a Habit” in your workplace, Supervisor Training is on us! Click here to find out more!

For more information Simpler, Easier Safety Management with Accountable Employees, CONTACT US!