Ontario government modernizing first aid requirements
The Ontario government has launched a consultation in order to modernize first aid requirements, with a focus on a proposal to enhance health and safety training standards at all workplaces. The public will be able to provide input until February 22, 2021 and will be used to inform the development of a potential new first aid regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
“Our government’s top priority is ensuring every worker in the province comes home safe to their loved ones after a hard day’s work. By taking these steps we will not only save lives, we will make workers safer by providing them with modern first aid until a first responder arrives,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “We want all workplaces to have safe, current and consistent first aid standards. These consultations will help us meet that goal while ensuring Ontario continues to be a world leader in workplace safety.”
Currently, Ontario employers must refer to two separate pieces of legislation to determine first aid requirements in the workplace. This involves two different entities: the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
The proposed changes are designed to make compliance easier for businesses by bringing all health and safety regulatory requirements under one piece of legislation and transferring oversight of workplace first aid to the ministry.
Along with these proposed changes to first aid regulations, the government is also seeking feedback on developing a first aid training program and training provider standards. The standards would address who can provide training to first aid attendants in workplaces and what type of first aid training must be provided. Any new regulation and standards would be administered and enforced by the ministry.
“We need everyone’s input to ensure that workplace first aid training meets the needs of workers and employers, and can be successfully delivered by training providers,” said Ron Kelusky, Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer. “We also want to ensure the requirements and related standards are current and in line with other jurisdictions.”
To provide input, please visit the first aid modernization consultation.
Currently, first aid in the workplace is overseen by the WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 – WSIA)
Certain employers must also follow first aid requirements in sector-specific regulations under the OHSA
About 76 per cent of Ontario employers are covered by first aid requirements under the WSIA
If approved, an additional 82,000 workplaces would be subject to a new first aid regulation under the OHSA