by Brandon Moore, Communications Coordinator
As we first reported in November, a new Ontario regulation requires health and safety awareness training for every worker and supervisor under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The regulation comes into force July 1, 2014.
Representatives from the Ministry of Labour Advisory Committee for Health and Safety in Live Performance have been working with the Ministry to discuss the challenges of implementing this regulation in our industry, where traditional “employer”, “supervisor”, and “worker” labels do not easily and traditionally apply.
The OHSA defines a worker as a person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation. It is the position of the Ministry of Labour that any payment for the performance of work or services, no matter how small (including honoraria), is sufficient to bring volunteers under the protection of the OHSA.
Theatres that have vibrant health and safety programs—especially those implemented during Theatre Ontario’s “To Act In Safety” initiative in 2003—can consult the Ministry of Labour’s “Resources for Employers” at http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/training/index.php to confirm that your existing training programs are in compliance.
There are also free training videos available from the Ministry of Labour for workers (http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/training/workers.php) and supervisors (http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/training/supervisors.php). The training takes about an hour, and participants will be able to print off a certificate of training. The video must be completed individually and you have to use Internet Explorer or Chrome; completing these videos and generating the certificates may be the simplest way for theatres to comply with the regulation.
The training is generic about Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. It is not sector-specific for theatre, nor is it hazard or competency specific. Specific live performance health and safety guidelines can be found on the Ministry of Labour’s website at http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/topics/performance.php.
Read more about Theatre Ontario's To Act In Safety program