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N.L. introduces new training standard to strengthen health and safety committees

By COS staff

Newfoundland and Labrador has launched a new certification training program for occupational health and safety committees and worker health and safety representatives. The new program will come into effect July 1.

The new training program will be shorter, with a minimum of 14 hours, and has been condensed into one course for both committees and representatives. The program content will be updated to include a practical component, reflect new legislation, introduce case studies and use new training materials.

Once participants have completed this new program, they are required to renew their certification every three years.

The training that many committee members have already completed will continue to be valid for a period of time. Through a phased-in approach, those who have already completed the existing training program have until June 30, 2018 to re-certify, and then must renew their certification every three years thereafter.

“The number of registered OHS committees in Newfoundland and Labrador has more than tripled in the last decade, with over 3,800 committees at the end of 2014,” said Tom Mahoney, executive director, worker services with the Workplace Health Safety and Compensation Commission. “It is extremely important that we offer training to these committees so that they are aware of their responsibilities and stay current with legislation in a way that is relevant and engaging."

Committee training is now available province-wide from over 95 training providers. Trainers are required to attend a curriculum orientation session in order to be ready to deliver the new program.

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