This is a reminder to all OSH reps to please make sure that you use the annual 8 hours of training you are entitled to under the Workers Compensation Act. Specifically, Section 135 of the Workers Compensation Act states:
135 Educational leave
(1) Each member of a joint committee is entitled to an annual educational leave totalling 8 hours, or a longer period if prescribed by regulation, for the purposes of attending occupational health and safety training courses conducted by or with the approval of the Board.
(2) A member of the joint committee may designate another member as being entitled to take all or part of the member's educational leave.
(3) The employer must provide the educational leave under this section without loss of pay or other benefits and must pay for, or reimburse the worker for, the costs of the training course and the reasonable costs of attending the course.
The 8 hours is over and above the 2-day OSH training and allows you an opportunity to further expand your safety knowledge. Every OSH rep should receive the 2-day OSH training within 6 months of appointment pursuant to Art 22.15 (b) of the Collective Agreement.
There are a number of courses put on jointly by the BCGEU and PSA (Public Service Agency) that you can take for your annual 8 hours of training. These cover a range of topics including investigations, ergonomics, and violence in the workplace. The BC Federation of Labour also provides training on a number of safety-related topics.
Your annual 8 hours of training does not carry over from year to year so if you do not use it each year, you lose it. You are also able to give your 8 hours of training to another OSH rep if you choose to. For example, if another OSH rep is wanting to take a 2-day safety course and you do not plan on using your allotment, you can give it to that OSH rep so that they can take the 2-day course.
Once you decide which course you would like to take, complete the Course Registration Form and submit it to your manager. This form can be found on the Store Intranet or you can request one from your manager. Should you require further assistance, please contact your Local Chair or Union Office.
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