My employer has asked me to get online WHMIS training

After providing training lessons that have been taken over a million times we've heard this line a lot. Although I'm reluctant to turn down a potential customer, I'm pretty sure we'd be doing a disservice to the individual taking the training.

The reason is pretty simple: employers must provide training taken by a worker. Employers seem to miss this fact and even try to require workers that haven't been hired to have this training before being considered. In fact Health Canada clearly states that the employer has a legal obligation to ensure that his or her workers have received WHMIS and site-specific material hazard training. Transport Canada even goes further and requires that the employer sign the training certificate for TDG. How can an employer sign a certificate for training it had no hand in providing?

This is not to say that every employer needs to hire an instructor and set up a training facility in the office or shop. WHMIS and TDG can still be outsourced, but the employer needs to verify that the training is appropriate for the environment the individual is likely to encounter. In nearly every case, the "generic" training provided by various training facilities and online providers must be supplemented with material-specific training. This means that if part of a workers responsibility is to handle propane cylinders, then that individual needs to know more than just the classes propane falls under for WHMIS and TDG.

The early online providers of WHMIS and TDG training do not offer these additional lessons. And even if they did, I doubt the lessons could be added piecemeal. At SafetySync, we've worked hard to build a broad catalog of material hazard courses. We've also designed our application so that safety administrators can turn on or off the various lessons for each position within their organization. No doubt some level of on-the-job training will always be needed, but our system will hopefully take care of most of the bases.

I believe that over time training facilities will garner less and less of the WHMIS and TDG training market due to the simple fact that facility training cannot be customized to the individual. Online training providers will also evolve, allowing administrators to add (and remove) certain lessons from these courses. It may take some time, since it means abandoning the per-course charge nearly all providers follow, in favor of the free pricing system that SafetySync uses. Utimately, it will mean a better experience for workers too, since they will only have to sit through lessons that are relevant to their positions.

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