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The Insidious Hazards of On-Line Safety Training: Questions to Ask Before You Buy

On-line safety training is increasing in popularity for a number of good reasons including but not limited to the fact that it can:
safety training
  1. Reduce employee training time and the associated wage costs
  2. Provide flexible training time allowing employees to train when convenient and to start and stop mid training
  3. Minimize costs and maximize production time
    • Click here for an example of an employer with 50 employees who saved $22,500 in production hours, $15,093 in wage costs resulting in a net gain of $37,593 by leveraging On-Line Training vs Live In Class Training

When there is so much training to do to be in compliance with Workplace Safety and Health Requirements, on-line training has its place to deliver a portion of your employee safety training.

The Insidious Hazards

At the same time, many employers with the best of intentions are wasting time and money on on-line training thinking they’re getting a “great deal”, when they are really buying a waste of time and a due diligence nightmare. Here are some questions to ask before purchasing on-line safety training:
  1. Is the training specific to the requirements of my jurisdiction? While the intent of all workplace safety and health legislation is similar across Canada there are specific and significant differences between each province as well as federal jurisdictions. Examples include:
      The insidious hazards.
    • Requirements for Workplace Safety and Health representatives and committees varies significantly across provincial and federal jurisdictions
    • Some jurisdictions place more or less responsibilities on supervisors. Manitoba for example has a very specific definition of who a “supervisor” is and places strict duties upon them.
    • Requirements vary across jurisdictions for hazardous work such as working at heights, powered mobile equipment, energy isolation, implications for public safety etc.
  2. Has the training been developed by accredited Safety Professionals experienced in the subject matter? Unfortunately in Canada anyone can call themselves a “Safety Professional” regardless of their training or experience (or lack of it). Look for experience as well as education such as a degree, diploma and accreditations such as CRSP (Registered Canadian Safety Professional). See more about Questions to Ask before Hiring a Safety Professional here.
  3. Is the content of sufficient quality and quantity to ensure that my employees will be set up for success?Avoid the temptation to find the shortest training course; this is a BIG MISTAKE. Not only is the shortest course ultimately a waste of time, because employees will learn little and not be set up for success, you will also be treading on thin ice when it comes to due diligence (see Question #5 below). Examples of on-line training to be discerning (AKA avoid) include:
    • Powered Lift Truck – 34 minutes
    • Fall Protection – 15 minutes
    • Lockout – Tag Out – 30 minutes
  4. REMEMBER: The greater the risk, the greater the health and safety risk measures required.

  5. How are the training courses designed to ensure that actual learning occurs? Telling is not teaching, it’s about getting people to THINK. Additionally, it’s a well-known fact that retention rates from reading alone are LOW. Many on-line training formats are as follows: read slide – next - read slide – next - read slide – next - write a test. Ask to sample the training before you buy and ensure it provides an interactive learning format that is intentionally designed to facilitate LEARNING (thinking) and RETENTION.
  6. Will the training be defensible in court? To have the best chance of meeting a due diligence defence ensure that the training meets the requirements of Questions 1-4 above. Also beware that on-line training is appropriate for awareness based and refresher training only. For competency based and /or high risk jobs and tasks, workers must be trained in safe work procedures by a competent person and in a manner that ensures they can apply the training provided.

On-line safety training can be a great tool to provide awareness and refresher training. And like anything else, selecting an on-line training provider is a matter of “Buyer Beware”. Source the right on-line training provider for your specific needs so that your employees are set up for success and return home safe to their families at the end of the workday and you receive the best value for the time and money invested. For a free trial of interactive on-line safety training specific to the requirements of Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health legislation visit www.mySafetyTraining.ca

Author: Theo Heineman, CRSP, CHSC, B.Sc.Ag
President 1Life Workplace Safety and Health Ltd.


Spring Training Quick Reference Guide: What Training Should be Provided and When?

An effective safety training program will reduce the number of injuries and deaths, property damage, legal liability claims, illnesses, workers' compensation claims, and missed time from work. In all instances employees must be aware to the hazards in your workplace and understand the safe way of doing work. To be compliant with Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health requirements, certain training is required for workers fulfilling specific roles and responsibilities at specified intervals.

"So how much training is necessary?" This is a common question from businesses we speak with.

Click here for a quick guide for what training has to be provided and when!


Here's how: An employer with 50 workers realized an opportunity cost of $37,533 by leveraging online training for awareness based safety training and saving live delivery for important high risk training.

Example: A local electrical contractor with workers earning $35/hr plus 15% benefits

Cost of Savings Table

With the benefits from using online training, this company:

  • Saved 375 production hours! (660 live training hours - 285 on-line training hours)
  • Saved $15,093 in wages! (375 production hours x wage cost / hr)
  • Billed out an additional $22,500 with the training hours saved! (375 production hours saved x bill out rate of $85/hr)
  • Total opportunity cost realized: $37,593!
The Simpler Easier Program

Set your employees up for success, keep your company compliant and start saving money with mySafetyTraining.ca!

Spring Training Sale
  • Train during off hours, maximize peak production time
  • Employees learn at their own pace and at a time that's convenient for them anywhere there is an internet connection
  • Standardized training format features high impact learning techniques so that employees remember more
  • 16 training courses available; all are designed to be defensible in a due diligence defense
  • Print certificates and track results and expiry dates

For 30% savings use coupon code SPRINGSALE

YES! I would like a "Simpler, Easier" Safety Training Analysis for my company. I want to find out how much time, money and opportunity cost I can be saving!

Click here to schedule your analysis today!


Safety’s Good for Business! Client Spotlight

Vickar Automotive Group

Not only is the Vickar Automotive Group a leader in our community, they are becoming a leader in Workplace Safety as well. In 2011, leveraging the resources of mySafetyAssistant.ca and the consultation of 1Life Workplace Safety and Health Ltd, the Vickar Automotive Group began developing and implementing a formal Safety Management System. This included critical elements like initial training of senior management on the “BIG WHY”, gaining involvement and participation of employees and developing customized policies and procedures that worked for the business.

Although their Safety Management System continues to evolve and be further implemented, they are seeing serious business results. This includes improved employee morale and retention because employees know they work for an employer that really cares about them and reduction in worker injuries and property damage. They have also seen their WCB rate drop from $1.89 to $0.57, which translates to the lowest WCB rate possible and a savings of over $43,000 / yr in WCB premiums.

Congratulations Vickar Automotive Group;
you are an example of what “effective Safety Management” is all about!


New and Improved Supervisor Essentials On-Line Course Launched!

A common gap in many organizations is a failure to train supervisors, foremen, team leaders, or anyone else who may direct the work of employees.


Employers appoint managers and supervisors to ensure that work is carried out so that the objectives of the organization are met. While employers have the most authority in the workplace and have the greatest responsibility for health and safety, supervisors are next in line and are also liable – but not until they have been trained.

The Manitoba WSH Act says that a supervisor is anyone who is:

  • In charge of a workplace
  • In charge of or has authority over a worker

Every employer must provide formal training to all employees that direct the work of others, or risk liability in the event of a workplace incident. Manitoba employers have been fined for failing to train supervisors and would be held 100% liable if an “accident” occurred today and their supervisors had not been trained.

Set your supervisors and business up for success!
Ensure your supervisors are trained to understand the health and safety responsibilities of everyone in the workplace.

New and Improved Supervisor Essential Course launched on March 18th!

All workers, from the employer to the newest worker, have different but important duties to keep the workplace safe and should be trained! The On-Line Training Library contains 16 courses and even more are in development!

If you are not sure which training you should be assigning to your workers, ask us!

Do you need supervisor training delivered at your workplace?

Contact us at 231-LIFE, we can help YOU!


Compliance with CSA Standards Enforced

Safety Fines

On January 13, 2015, Buhler Trading Inc. was fined $35,000 for failing to provide a worker with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standards addressing the operation and safeguarding of power press machinery. They were also charged and fined for failing to ensure that an eccentric punch press was inspected at regular intervals to ensure that the machine was capable of safely performing the functions for which it was used.

In this incident, a worker was trimming metal bars using an eccentric punch press. While removing a piece of metal from the press, the press activated pinching the worker’s left hand resulting in the amputation of two fingers.

In instances such as these, the employer must ensure that work is carried out in accordance with the requirements for the referenced CSA standards.

When is Compliance with CSA Standards Required?

Compliance with CSA standards becomes law when it is referenced in legislation such as the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation. Examples of references to CSA Standards in the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation include:

CAN/CSA-Z94.4-02, Selection, Use, and Care of Respirators,
CSA Standard CAN3-Z11-M81 (R2005), Portable Ladders,
CSA Standard Z259.1-05, Body Belts and Saddles for Work Positioning and Travel Restraint,
CAN/CSA Standard Z259.2.1-98 (R2004), Fall Arresters, Vertical Lifelines, and Rails,
CAN/CSA Standard Z259.2.2-98 (R2004), Self-Retracting Devices for Personal Fall-Arrest Systems,
CSA Standard W117.2-01 (R2006), Safety in Welding, Cutting, and Allied Processes,
CAN/CSA Standard-Z185-M87 (R2004), Safety Code for Personnel Hoists,
CAN/CSA S269.2-M87 (R2003) Access Scaffolding for Construction Purposes,
CAN/CSA Standard-Z271-1998 (R2004), Safety Code for Suspended Elevating Platforms,
CAN/CSA Standard-Z91-02, Health and Safety Code for Suspended Equipment Operations,
CAN/CSA Standard-B354.1-04, Portable Elevating Work Platforms,
CAN/CSA Standard-B354.2-01 (R2006), Self-propelled Elevating Work Platforms,
CAN/CSA Standard-B354.4-02, Self-propelled Boom-Supported Elevating Work Platforms,
CSA Standard C225-00 (R2005), Vehicle-Mounted Aerial Devices,
CSA Standard S350-M1980 (R2003), Code of Practice for Safety in Demolition of Structures,
CAN/CSA-Z460-05, Control of Hazardous Energy — Lockout and Other Methods,
CSA Standard Z432-04, Safeguarding of Machinery

The Standards can be purchased from CSA. They can be viewed for free at https://community.csagroup.org/

Do you have questions about CSA Standards or your Safety Management System?
Contact 1Life at 204-231-5433!

Theo's company and passion are an asset to any business.

Mike Gordon
Foreman, Birchwood Honda Center