Fatality Notice: IHSA has learned of two separate fatalities this week: One involved a millwright and the other a utility employee. One workplace fatality in any year is one too many, regardless of the sector, industry, or occupation. Please pause all work for a safety moment and re-establish a commitment to the prevention of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.

Training, Orientation and Communications

Construction employers should have systems in place to ensure that workers and supervisors are adequately trained and have received proper orientation. A system is also needed to effectively communicate health and safety information to employees.



Health and safety training is the foundation of a successful health and safety program. Such training should give management, supervision, and workers an appreciation of their personal responsibilities for health and safety within the framework of the minimum standards outlined by legislation.

It is not, however, a question of training only new workers and apprentices. All levels of management, from the president to site supervisors, must be involved in health and safety training. In addition to the transfer of knowledge and skills, training promotes positive attitudes and a culture in which all parties within a firm collaborate to establish and maintain worksite health and safety. Management and supervisors need training in such topics as health and safety program planning and accident/incident investigation. Workers need training in specific health and safety topics such as PPE, ladders, scaffolding, and work practices that protect both themselves and those around them.

Training requirements that are common to most construction workers include:

  • WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System)
  • Working and Heights and site-specific Fall Protection

In addition, there are several different situations where employers have a duty to ensure that workers are trained (e.g., Asbestos, Traffic Control, Working in Confined Spaces). In some cases, the training may be part of a worker's trade background. In other cases, there may requirements for workers to be trained in the procedures used by the employer. See the IHSA's Training Requirements Chart (W001) to see which of them apply to the kind of work your company undertakes.





A comprehensive workplace orientation process is good way to familiarize new employees with how your company functions and the value of occupational health and safety in their work. This orientation should include a review of your company Health and Safety Policy and Program to determine what further training and information the employee needs to have in order to do the job safely. A yearly review for all employees ensures that new procedures or rules are communicated to everyone.





Employers should have effective systems in place to communicate important health and safety information to all affected employees. Safety bulletins, new safety requirements, or other information should be provided to all employees. Some companies conduct regular safety talks for this function. Copies of all health and safety communications should be kept on file at the company's head office.




Links to other topics


Links to existing IHSA and MOL material



The samples provided are intended to be modified to meet company or site-specific requirements. Without such modifications, they may not be appropriate. Although IHSA believes that the information provided is consistent with the legal requirements and/or good industry practices which prevailed at the time the information was compiled, users of this information are urged to check with current regulations, local/trade practices and the most recent edition of the reference material to ensure that it is still appropriate.


Last Updated: April 1, 2020

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