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Worker training

Training workers is an essential step in their integration into the workplace and their professional development. Employers have an obligation to train their employees.

Training is also an opportunity for the employer:

  • to inform their staff about the tasks to be performed and to ensure that new knowledge is clearly understood
  • to provide the necessary training for workers to perform the tasks required of them effectively
  • to train workers to ensure that they have acquired the necessary skills to perform the tasks required of them effectively
  • to make the requirements of the job known

Training is necessary to create a safe workplace and create winning conditions in occupational health and safety management.

Who needs training?

Any worker who is:

  • newly hired, whether young, experienced, a newcomer or retired from another job
  • performing a task for the first time, even if they have been with the company for some time
  • performing a task following a change in a work method or the introduction of new technology
  • returning to the company after a long absence

Topics to be covered during training

During training, the worker must be given information on:

  • the name of their immediate supervisor and the supervisor’s support person, if they have one
  • wages and the work schedule
  • the specific tasks to be performed
  • work methods and safety rules
  • the risks present in their workplace and the means of prevention implemented
  • the particularities of the job
  • operating rules, policies and guidelines
  • hazardous products if they have to be in contact with such products

Training required by the employer

Workers who are doing training, a trial period, in meetings or travelling for the employer are considered to be at work and must be paid.

They must therefore receive their regular wages for these hours, even if the start date of the work is later and regardless of the location of the training.

Important

The employer should inform workers in advance of the guidelines and scales established in their organization for the reimbursement of expenses related to travel that they require. 

In the absence of such guidelines, the employer may have to pay all of the worker's expenses.

Expenses related to training required by the employer

The employer must reimburse the worker for certain reasonable expenses related to training, such as the cost of:

  • accommodation
  • meals
  • parking
  • transport

If the employer makes the worker pay the cost of training and the resulting expenses, they must reimburse these expenses.

Training not required by the employer

When the training is not required by the employer, the employer does not have to reimburse the worker for the expenses related to the training. For example, for training required by a professional order.

Example

Jean-Philippe has to do training to keep his title in a professional order and to retain the right to practice his profession.

Since this is a requirement of his professional order, the employer does not have to reimburse the worker for the cost of the training.

Training and information on hazardous products

In workplaces where workers are in contact with hazardous products, the employer may allow the use, handling, storage or warehousing of these products only if the following 2 conditions are met:

  • the hazardous product has a label and a safety data sheet that meet the regulatory requirements
  • the worker exposed to the product, or likely to be exposed to the product, has received the training and information required to safely perform the work assigned to them

In this context, the employer must put a hazardous products training and information program in place that complies with WHMIS. The program may be established by:

  • the health and safety committee
  • the employer, in consultation with the certified association, where there is no health and safety committee
  • the employer with the workers or their representative in the establishment, where there is no certified association

The program must include:

  • information on the nature and meaning of the information on labels, signs and safety data sheets
  • training on:
    • hazards, including hazard statements and precautionary statements, for each hazardous product present in the workplace
    • precautions to be taken with respect to fugitive emissions, intermediary products undergoing reactions in a reaction or process vessel and hazardous waste in the workplace
    • the procedure to be followed in an emergency
    • the place where material safety data sheets are kept, how to access them, the technology relating to the medium on which they are kept and how to transfer them to hard copy

Laws and regulations

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