Back to school is that wonderful time that parents and retailers love, and children can’t stand. But back to school isn’t just for children or students, back to school applies to workers too. Worksafe BC, Transport Canada, and other authorities have mandatory educational requirements for workers. What you need to know, need to remember, is that many of the courses and training programs workers have attended have re-certification requirements too. For example, a certificate of training issued by BC Hazmat Management will have an expiry date listed on it if required.
First and foremost we all need to remember that the educational requirements for workers are there for a reason. According to WorkSafe BC statistics, for 2016:
Injuries reported: 149,554
Work-related death claims: 144
The regulations are there to keep workers safe, there to keep the public safe and there to protect our environment which affects all of our quality of lives.
Taking the appropriate training is great but you must remember to get re-certified in the 1 to 3-year schedule (varies depending on the certificate). Perhaps there have been updates to procedures or equipment since you last studied. Perhaps your job has changed so that your focus should be directed to some different hazards. Often we (humans) just tend to forget training after a while if we haven’t had to use it. Training is like insurance, you hope you never have to use it but so glad you have it if something happens. Training also instills confidence. You or your staff will have more confidence in handling an incident if you’ve had training and not just read about a procedure in a *SOP years before. We’ve responded to environmental cleanup jobs where the business had a perfectly good spill kit that either nobody knew existed or didn’t know how to use.
Finally, re-certification is the law!
Day in and Day out we hear the stories of people being involved in work place accidents who did not have the appropriate training. It just ridiculous to imagine someone getting hurt over not taking one day out of their life to get the updated training. Many individuals or companies think all is fine if they haven’t had a visit from the WorkSafe inspector in a long time. Let me tell you, if you have a reportable incident in your workplace, the authorities will be all over you will make sure anyone and everyone involved had not only the right training certificates but that they were all VALID.
The fines we see being applied to companies that break the rules are huge. Why risk your own life or that of someone in your employ. Safety training and re-certification is inexpensive and easy.
So this fall, don’t just send the kids back to school, get yourself or your employees re-certified. Let’s all be around for “graduation.”
*SOP: Standard operating procedure. Some companies will also call these policies.
Reminder: Please pay attention to school zones. Watch your speed and watch out for the children, they may not be watching out for you!
BC Hazmat Management
Director of Marketing and Communications