It is a new year and a new opportunity to receive paid training! - BCGEU

Did you know you are entitled to health and safety training leave, totaling to at least 8 hours every year? Did you also know your employer is required to pay for this training without loss of pay or other benefits? The employer must cover the costs of the training and any other reasonable costs to attend the course. Some employers provide the training through their own training program.

If you are unable to take the training yourself, you have the right to assign your 8 hour annual allotment to another worker representative. This language can be found in the Workers Compensation Act, Part 3, Division 4, Section 135.

Review your collective agreement as you may be entitled to even more than the minimum 8 hours for health and safety education. By taking your annual training, you will increase your knowledge and skills and be better able to represent members at your workplace. You will learn how to prevent injury and illness, what your health & safety rights are and what your employer is required by law to provide for workers. You will also benefit from networking with other health and safety representatives from your area.

In addition to your entitlement for 8 hours of annual training, Section 3.27 of the Occupational Health & Safety Regulation states that new committee members must receive an additional 8 hours of committee orientation training within 6 months of appointment. That means if you are a new health and safety representative, you could receive 16 hours of paid training within your first six months in this role. This orientation training must be taken as soon as practicable but no more than six months after being appointed as a health and safety representative. This applies to both worker and employer representatives on the committee. This training must include but is not limited to the following topics:

  • Duties and functions of a joint committee
  • Rules of procedure
  • Inspection and investigation requirements
  • The refusal of unsafe work
  • The evaluation of joint committees

The BCGEU offers occupational health and safety courses in the following topics:

  • Basic OH&S Committee Training – this course meets the regulatory requirements under section 3.27, and is a prerequisite to our other courses.
  • Building Effective Committees NEW!
  • Women's Health and Safety in the Workplace NEW! (all genders welcome)
  • Ergonomics in the Workplace
  • Prevention of Violence
  • Incident Investigations

For Labour Code (non-government) course descriptions, schedule, and registration, visit http://ohs.bcgeu.ca

Employer and union affiliated representatives on your committee are also invited to attend our courses. Share this information with them.

Your union is always looking for more occupational health and safety (OH&S) representatives to advocate for their worksites. If you have a co-worker with an interest in health and safety, have them fill out this short survey http://ohs-bcgeu.nationbuilder.com/ohs_rep and their application will be forwarded for consideration.

Occupational health and safety representatives are vital to our union and we truly value the work you do on behalf of worker health and safety. OH&S representatives are invited to annual activist appreciation banquets and there are opportunities to attend BCGEU health and safety conferences.

For further information, please call the OH&S department at 1-800-663-1674 or 604-291-9611 or email us at ohs@bcgeu.ca

Download PDF of notice here