Supervisor Responsibilities Program

After the employer, supervisors have the greatest legal responsibility for the health and safety of workers. They play a significant role as advocates for the implementation of health and safety change and enforcement in the workplace.

Supervisors oversee the work of others and can directly affect how work is performed. As such, both Provincial and Federal OH&S Legislation requires employers to train supervisors and ensure that they are familiar with the regulations that apply to the work they manage. When supervisors fail to meet their health and safety obligations, the consequences can be serious, ranging from worker injury and illness to orders and fines.

Workers Compensation Act Section 117 – General duties of supervisors

(1) Every supervisor must:

(a) ensure the health and safety of all workers under the direct supervision of the supervisor,

(b) be knowledgeable about this Part and those regulations applicable to the work being supervised, and

(c) comply with this Part, the regulations and any applicable orders.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), a supervisor must

(a) Ensure that the workers under his or her direct supervision

(i) are made aware of all known or reasonably foreseeable health or safety hazards in the area where they work, and

(ii) comply with this Part, the regulations and any applicable orders,

(b) consult and cooperate with the joint committee or worker health and safety representative for the workplace, and

(c) cooperate with the Board, officers of the Board and any other person carrying out a duty under the Part of the regulations.

Under the Canada Criminal Code, supervisors, employers and managers can be charged with criminal negligence and possibly jailed when they fail to protect the health and safety of workers and others in their workplace.

Unfortunately, far too many supervisors are given these responsibilities without effective communication or training around the legislation.

Course participants will:

  • apply concepts of ‘supervisor’ internal responsibility, due diligence and competence
  • read legislation and regulations, including sections on supervisor duties and criminal negligence
  • interact with the joint committee, especially with inspections and investigations
  • respond appropriately to a work refusal or work stoppage
  • interact with WCB inspectors and respond to their orders
  • support a workplace violence and harassment prevention program
  • build effective communication strategies

Participants will also review relevant case law and provisions of the Canada Criminal Code to give participants a clear understanding of their duties under this federal statute.

Upon completion, participants receive a Certificate.

Many employers have already turned to the BCFED Health & Safety Centre to seek compliance with supervisor competency requirements.  Equally important, these same employers trust that our training will go beyond legal minimums, will ensure learning and will help prepare supervisors to meet their many workplace obligations as they relate to the protection of a worker.


Supervisor OH&S Responsibilities Part 1

Supervisors play a critical role in the workplace because they have the authority to oversee the work of others. As such, supervisors have considerable responsibilities under Occupational Health & Safety Legislation. A supervisor is required to be qualified by knowledge, training and experience in the work they oversee, be familiar with the legislation that applies to their workplace and knowledgeable about actual or potential workplace hazards, so they can in turn advise workers about these hazards.

In this course participants will:

  • Discuss legal requirements and responsibilities (Provincial and Federal).State the supervisor’s role in addressing work refusals and conducting investigations.
  • Identify the supervisor’s role in conducting workplace inspections.
  • Learn the principles of demonstration of “due diligence”.

This program also reviews relevant case law and provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada (Bill C-45) to help participants better identify types of work that are supervisory in nature and their related legal duties, and understand the consequences of non-compliance.

Audience: Supervisors, Managers and Worker Representatives. 

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Supervisor OH&S Responsibilities Part 2 (New)

The Supervisor Part 2 course has been designed to allow participants to pick up where our Supervisor Part 1 leaves off and further develop the concepts, tools and resources needed to tackle supervisor roles and responsibilities at their workplaces. Completion of this course will further enhance those skills you’ve obtained from your workplace experience and the completion of Supervisor Part 1.

In this course participants will:

  • Understand the supervisor’s role in interpreting OH&S legislation.
  • Learn how to develop and implement SWP's (safe work procedures) specific to OH&S programs.
  • Understand the supervisor’s role in demonstrating leadership.
  • Learn how to be an effective communicator by developing and conducting a safety crew talk.
  • Understand the role of the Inspection Authority in your workplace.

Audience: Supervisors, Managers and Worker Representatives.
Prerequisite: Completion of the Supervisor OH&S Part 1 course is required before taking this course.

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