Supervisor talking to a worker

The role of the supervisor is to get work done through others. Getting work done means projects or tasks are completed on time and on budget. But what happens when there is an incident in the workplace? Typically the project is delayed, which impacts the schedule and the budget.

Health and safety is often viewed as an add-on after a project or task has been started. There is a persistent view that doing things safely has a negative impact on productivity.

In fact, the opposite is true. Integrating health and safety into the daily activities of the workplace is a proactive way to manage projects or tasks and ensure they are completed on time and on budget. IHSA wants the industry to think about safe production instead of safety vs. production.

Health and safety legislation requires supervisors to be competent. In addition to the competency requirement, the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation (O. Reg. 297/13) requires employers to make sure supervisors complete a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program.


Supervisor Training

IHSA's two-day Basics of Supervising program is based on the concept that health and safety should be integrated into production and the role of the supervisor is to get work done safely through others. The goal of the program is to ensure supervisors are competent in health and safety. We do this by explaining to supervisors what their duties and responsibilities are under health and safety legislation and how to carry out their role as a manager. Once supervisors understand what to do, the program then explores how supervisors can meet their health and safety responsibilities and ensure a productive workplace.

The main topics covered in the program are:

  • 1. Legal Responsibilities
  • 2. Elements of Supervising
  • 3. Supervisor Safety Tasks.

The Legal Responsibilities section focuses on teaching supervisors about the legal duties and responsibilities of employers, supervisors, and workers under the health and safety legislation. The concept of due diligence is discussed and activities that demonstrate due diligence are explained.

The Elements of Supervising section explains how the supervisor gets work done through others. The four basic management functions are discussed and students learn how to deal with problems using three different leadership styles. We also show supervisors how to integrate health and safety into their daily managerial activities.

The Supervisor Safety Tasks section shows supervisors how to fulfil their role of implementing health and safety in the workplace. These tasks include

  • investigating incidents
  • communicating the hazards
  • inspecting the workplace
  • enforcing the rules.

Each of these tasks is discussed in detail so that supervisors leave with the knowledge and skills to fulfil their legal obligations.

IHSA's Basics of Supervising program is unique in the industry because we give supervisors the tools to understand their role in health and safety and how to integrate it into their management functions. Supervisors are able to navigate the legislation and are provided with several job aids. These job aids include a posting requirements checklist, sample inspection checklists, and new worker orientation checklists. Students practice preparing a safety talk and learn how to determine the immediate and underlying causes of a workplace incident. The program is delivered by IHSA instructors with industry and supervisory experience and is available at no charge for members.

The course covers the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations for Construction Projects or Regulations for Industrial Establishments. We also offer Basics of Supervising - Federally Regulated, which is a separate course for federally regulated workplaces using the Canada Labour Code – Part II and the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.

After completing the Basics of Supervising course, participants can further develop their supervisory skills by taking IHSA's one-day Communication Skills for Supervising Health and Safety course. Supervisors will learn how improved interpersonal skills will increase their proficiency and effectiveness when performing the four main supervisor health and safety tasks: inspecting, communicating, investigating, and enforcing.

IHSA is ready to assist your firm with your training needs. Visit our website for upcoming training dates in your area for the Basics of Supervising program or speak to your area consultant to set up training at your workplace.