Having and maintaining a safe workplace seems like a no-brainer. Think about it; hurting people or damaging equipment and product is not a sustainable business model. What’s more, occupational health and safety regulation in Canada gives every employer a responsibility to inform employees of the hazards associated with their job and to provide training and supervision to ensure the job is done safely.
In most industries, meeting those responsibilities is relatively straightforward but not so much in the trucking industry. Trucking operations have widely varying start times and employees who are literally all over the place. Even when we are able to get our drivers together for training, we have to be concerned about how training hours might affect hours of service.
Faced with these realities it’s no wonder that online training starts becoming attractive, but issues of quality, training and participation remain, and there are still some things which cannot be done online. Online training may not always be able to replace in-person training, but it works well in a supplemental role, and the many training options available online provide employers with plenty of flexibility.
For instance, looking around online, you will find all sorts of resources like the free, Smart Driver Training from Natural Resources Canada, and the North American Fatigue Management Program. Both excellent resources but not really the nuts and bolts of occupational safety programs.
For occupational safety, one of the best resources nationally is the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety or CCOHS. Here you can find answers to all sorts of safety related questions and they have a list of courses and resources that goes on forever. While many of these resources are free, some cost a moderate amount.
Another source of training and good information comes from various industry safety associations such as SafetyDriven-Trucking Safety Council of BC or the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA). Because these groups service the trucking industry, their materials focus on what is needed for the job. In the case of SafetyDriven, we have a learning academy, which accesses CCOHS course content and subsidizes much of the available training materials for BC registered trucking companies.
A great thing about online training is the ability to help an interested employee learn more about occupational safety. Following up when interest is displayed is a great opportunity to start building our own internal safety champions.
Want to get started on finding some health and safety training for your group? Start by contacting your provincial trucking association or Workers Compensation Board for ideas and resources. Then look for opportunities to offer extra training. You will likely be surprised at how much interest is shown in return.